Research Tilburg Law School

Our mission is to understand and improve the role of law in tackling societal problems now and in the future.

Environmental Law Team

The Environmental Law Team in Tilburg University’s department of European and International Law is unique because of its:

Sheer size

We have 14 members (7 Professors and 7 PhD Researchers) researching and teaching in the field of international, European and national environmental law.


Kees Bastmeijer

Professor, Nature Conservation and Water Law, Dutch
Bastmeijer, C.J.
Name prof. dr. C.J. Bastmeijer
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position Full Professor
Room M 527
Phone +31 13 466 2006

Kees Bastmeijer is Professor of Nature Conservation and Water Law at Tilburg Law School. His research relates to international, European, and domestic environmental law, with a special emphasis on the role of law in protecting nature. He has a special interest in the legal developments relating to the Polar Regions (the Antarctic and the Arctic). Because he has become increasingly aware of the limitations of law in reaching nature conservation objectives, he relates his research more and more to knowledge and research in other disciplines, including ecology, sociology, anthropology and economy.

Kees Bastmeijer is the author of The Antarctic Environmental Protocol and its Domestic Legal Implementation, (dissertation, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2003), co-editor (with Prof. Timo Koivurova) of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment: Theory and Practice (Leiden: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, 2008), and is currently editing the book The Role of International, European and National Law in Protecting Wilderness in Europe for Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2015).

He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters (see publication list below). He is a member of the editorial boards of the Yearbook of Polar Law (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff) and of the Polar Journal (Taylor & Francis/Routledge).

He is Member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. As an advisor to the Dutch government, Kees Bastmeijer has been participating in the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings since 1992. He is a board member of the IUCN Netherlands Committee. Since 1 January 2014, in parallel to his professorship, he has been co-program leader of the Outreaching Honors Program of the Tilburg University.

Based on his academic work, Kees Bastmeijer aims to inform and advice policy makers and the general public through membership of advisory committees, contract research for governments and NGOs, as well as through popular publications and contributions in the general media.

Han Somsen

Vice Dean and Professor, Environmental Law and Technology Regulation, Dutch
Somsen, J.
Name J. (Han) Somsen
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position Full Professor
Room M 531
Phone +31 13 466 2742

Han Somsen is Vice Dean and Professor at Tilburg Law School and an expert in the field of technology regulation. Within this rapidly developing field, he concentrates mostly on medical and agricultural biotechnology. In addition, he frequently publishes on issues of EC environmental law.

Jonathan Verschuuren

Professor, International and European Environmental Law, Dutch
Verschuuren, J.M.
Name J.M. (Jonathan) Verschuuren
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position Full Professor
Room M 530
Phone +31 13 466 8255

Jonathan Verschuuren is a Professor of International and European Environmental Law at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) and faculty member of the Tilburg Sustainability Center. His research mainly focuses on the role of international and EU environmental law in legal practice, on such issues as biodiversity conservation and climate change.

Verschuuren published more than 500 publications in the field of environmental law, including several books, many articles in outstanding refereed journals throughout the world. He is or has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Connecticut (USA), Leuven (Belgium) and Sydney (Australia) and at North West University (South Africa).

Some of his recent publications include Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Law (Edward Elgar Publ. 2013) and The Future of Corporate Liability for Extraterritorial Human Rights Abuses: The Dutch Case against Shell (American Journal of International Law Unbound, January 2014).

Arie Trouwborst

Associate Professor, Environmental Law and International and European Wildlife Law, Dutch
Trouwborst, A.
Name mr.dr. A. Trouwborst
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position Associate Professor
Room M 509
Phone +31 13 466 8704

Arie Trouwborst's research focuses mainly on international and European wildlife law, and he has published extensively in this domain. Much of his research is multidisciplinary, combining law with ecology in particular. Research topics include large carnivore conservation, fragmentation and connectivity, transboundary conservation, marine protected areas, wilderness protection, seabird conservation, climate change adaptation, migratory species conservation, marine mammal rescue and release, the precautionary principle, hybridization, the polar regions, fisheries bycatch, conservation conflicts, the ecosystem approach, marine litter, and invasive alien species.

Whereas Arie's research also covers species like elephants, sandpipers and even invertebrates, his output reveals a distinct preference for creatures equipped with sharp teeth and claws, such as bears, wolves, tigers, hyenas, killer whales and great white sharks.

From 2014-2019 he leads Ius Carnivoris, a research project on the role of law in conserving and restoring wolves, bears and other European large carnivores. Arie regularly undertakes advisory work for government, NGOs, and international entities such the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species and the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. He is a member of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (LCIE) and various other international expert groups.

Floor Fleurke

Assistant Professor, Environmental Law and International and European Wildlife Law, Dutch
Fleurke, F.M.
Name mr.dr. F.M. Fleurke
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position Associate Professor
Room M 509
Phone +31 13 466 4124

Floor Fleurke is assistant Professor of Environmental Law. Her research interests encompass international, European and national environmental law, with an emphasis on wildlife law, EU law and the relationship between science and law.

She has published on various European environmental law topics, including nature conservation. Floor holds LLB and LLM degrees in Law from the University of Amsterdam, and obtained a PhD degree from the same university (2012).

She has carried out many studies commissioned by (inter)national public bodies and non-governmental organizations.

Phillip Paiement

Lecturer and Assistant Professor, transnational sustainability governance, American

Paiement, P.M.
Name P.M. (Phillip) Paiement
Tilburg Law School
Department for Public Law, Jurisprudence and Legal History
Position Assistant Professor
Room M 416
Phone +31 13 466 2379

Phillip Paiement’s general research interests lie at the intersection of sustainability, corporate governance, and transnational regulation. In particular, his doctoral research project investigates the use of codes of conduct and private standards in the forest products and palm oil industries. The aim of the project is to discern differences between coordinative and regulatory functions in these examples of transnational sustainability governance.

PhD Researchers

Anne De Vries

PhD Researcher, Pesticide law & Aarhus Convention, Dutch

Vries-Stotijn, A. de
Name A. de Vries-Stotijn LLM
Tilburg Law School
Department of Private Law
Position Doctoral researcher
Room M 322
Phone +31 13 466 8108

Anne De Vries is, in addition to her PhD in EU and comparative private law, doing research in the field of EU pesticide law, the Aarhus Convention and access to environmental information.

Due to her background in both private and environmental law, she has a strong interest in the interaction between these fields.

She has advised Stichting Natuurmonumenten on environmental protection through private law. In addition, she has advised the Dutch Bee foundation (Bijenstichting) on access to environmental information relating to pesticides.

Anne has completed an LLM in Environmental Law and in Private Law at Tilburg University/ Victoria University of Wellington.

Jennifer Dubrulle

PhD Researcher, International and European Wildlife Law, Belgian

Dubrulle, J.S.V.
Name J.S.V. (Jennifer) Dubrulle
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position PhD researcher
Phone +31 13 466 8141

Jennifer Dubrulle is a PhD Researcher in international and European wildlife law, addressing the legal implications of the return of large carnivores to Europe. Her PhD research is an integral component of Ius Carnivoris, a research project on the role of law in conserving and restoring wolves, bears and other European large carnivores.

Jennifer obtained LLB and LLM degrees in Law from the University of Leuven. She further specialized in European Law (LLM, King’s College London) and Environmental Law (LLM, University of Leuven). Prior to joining Ius Carnivoris she worked for three years as an environmental law attorney at the Brussels and Ghent bar.

Maryam Jafroudi

PhD Researcher, International Environmental Law, Game Theory, Iranian


Maryam Jafroudi is a PhD researcher concentrating on the application of game theory in international environmental law. She became interested in game theory and stability of water treaties during her master's studies at Tehran University. She is now focusing on the role, strengths and weaknesses of international environmental law in providing for treaty resilience regarding shared water resources through the perspective of game theory.

Melissa Lewis

PhD Researcher, International Wildlife Law, South African

Melissa Lewis’s research focuses primarily on South African, comparative and international environmental law, with a particular emphasis on the role of law in protecting and regulating the use of biodiversity. She also has a strong interest in animal law.

She is a co-editor of the International Environmental Law-making and Diplomacy Review (published annually by the University of Eastern Finland) and an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she used to teach.

Since 2008, she has also held the position of Environmental Law Expert on the Technical Committee of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (a daughter Agreement to the Convention on Migratory Species), and her PhD research aims to present a critical appraisal of this instrument’s contribution to the conservation and management of migratory birds at the flyway level.

Over the past few years, her other research topics have included, inter alia, the balancing of poverty reduction and wildlife conservation objectives in international law, the international and South African regulation of bioprospecting activities, the legal protection of species used in traditional medicine, and the regulation of kosher slaughter.

Ji Li

PhD Researcher, EU Biotechnology Law, Chinese

Ji Li is a PhD Researcher who concentrates on the EU Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms. After completing his bachelor's degree in Biology Science and Master's degree in Private International Law, he turned his academic interests to the field of EU Biotechnology Law, in particular Genetic Engineering. This is a most controversial and confusing area in the whole EU law system, where drastic collisions arise between science and politics.

In practice,Member States frequently oppose biotechnology related decisions from the European Commission without legitimate evidence, whereby the legality of EU law is seriously challenged and the public's trust in modern biotechnology is significantly weakened.

By applying his double backgrounds in science and law, Ji Li attempts to attribute this failure to the erroneous methodology behind the EU regulatory system and to propose a coexistence scheme that best reconciles the two levels of rationality: science and socio-economic considerations.

This is a comprehensive research program which involves multiple research perspectives (such as law-and-psychology and law-and-economics) and branches of law (such as administrative law and liability law).  

Antje Neumann

PhD Researcher, Polar Law, The Antarctic and the Arctic, German

Antje Neumann’s legal expertise and research covers the Polar Regions. In this framework, her PhD work deals with wilderness protection in Antarctica, and more particularly with the question to what extent the wilderness concept can constitute a basis for regulating tourism and other non-governmental activities in Antarctica while taking into consideration wilderness regulations and management practices in other wilderness areas in the world.

Apart of this, her further research interests concern EU-Arctic relations in the field of environmental law (recent publication: with Kamrul Hossain Does the EU Meet its Policy Objective of “Promoting Sustainable Use of Arctic Resources”? An Analysis from the Viewpoint of Arctic Energy Resources (EEELR, Kluwer Law International, 2014); and the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of nature conservation and management (recent publication: with Leena Heinämäki, Thora Martina Herrmann The Protection of the Culturally and Spiritually Important Landscapes of Arctic Indigenous Peoples under the Convention on Biological Diversity and First Experiences from the Application of the Akwé:Kon Guidelines in Finland (The Yearbook of Polar Law, Brill Publisher, 2014).

Yuan Yang

PhD Researcher, Environmental Law, Environmental Liability, Chinese

Yang, Y.
Name Y. Yang
Tilburg Law School
Department European and International Public Law
Position PhD-student
Room M 522
Phone +31 13 466 2894

Yuan Yang’s research mainly focuses on China, international and comparative environmental law. As a member of the Tilburg Sustainability Centre (TSC), she is interested in the marine environment and sustainable development, particularly in how to regulate marine energy extraction, and the related environmental emergencies such as oil pollution, nuclear accident, etc.

Her PhD research focus on the legal liability and compensation for oil spill damage caused by offshore drilling, which will be analysed from the perspective of both international law and domestic law. Methodology in her research includes legal multidisciplinary, comparative approach, law & economics, and case studies.


Our Team has core expertise in:

  • Climate Change Law,
  • New Technologies and
  • Wildlife Law

International members

Our Team is composed of researchers from all over the world: Belgium, China, Germany, Iran, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United States.


We meet frequently to discuss current issues in environmental law and these discussions feed into our environmental law blog.


In a 2017 review of legal scholarship in the Netherlands, the final assessment report concludes: “It is fair to say that the group on environmental law is probably (becoming) one of the most influential research groups in the world in its domain” (Assessment Report Tilburg Law School, Peer Review 2009 – 2015, March 2017, p. 14).