Justine Bendel

Justine Bendel


I joined the University of Leeds in January 2024 as a lecturer in law, specialised in international environmental and climate change law. Prior to this, I was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Centre for Climate Change Law and Governance. I was conducting a project entitled “Implementation Issues in Global Environmental Law: The Case of Forests (Interfor)”. I was also a lecturer in law at the University of Exeter from 2020 to 2023, and at the University of Sheffield from 2017 to 2019. 

I hold a PhD in international law from the University of Edinburgh, obtained in 2017, as well as a Master’s degree and Bachelor degree from the University of Geneva, which I obtained in 2012 and 2010 respectively.

Beside my academic work, I worked as a research intern at the United Nations Codification Division at the headquarters in New York in 2017, as well as at ClientEarth in the Forests and Climate Team in London. I also worked on several international litigation cases, including the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives), provisional measures and merits phase, before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chile v. Bolivia) before the International Court of Justice.

Research interests

My research interests cover different aspects of international law relating to the the the protection of the environment. Firstly, I focus on judicial enforcement of international environmental norms. In this aspect, I have recently published my monograph Litigating the Environment: Process and Procedure before International Courts and Tribunals (E. Elgar, 2023). It has been reviewed in the “Law, Environment and Development Journal”, by Collins Odote (Vol. 20(1), 2024)). In this book, I analyse the potential for adaptation of current procedural structure of international courts and tribunals towards a better understanding of environmental disputes. I also published an edited collection Public Interest Litigation in International Law with Dr Yusra Suedi (Routledge, 2023) that takes a broader view of how public interests (including environmental issues) can be litigated before international courts.

Secondly, I focus on issues around international forest governance, as it has struggled to take a meaningful place in international law. The regulation of forests spans across various regimes such as the climate change regime, the biodiversity regime and other international agreements, leaving many gaps and room for improvement. For instance, I published an article Turning to International Litigation to Protect the Amazon? with Prof. Tim Stephens in the “Review of European, Comparative, International Environmental Law” in 2021 that shows the gaps for successful litigation concerning the protection of the Amazon. I also have been working closely on forest governance through my EU-funded Marie Curie project conducted between 2021 and 2023 at the University of Copenhagen, where I was interested in how implementation issues arise in the context of global forest governance. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in international law (University of Edinburgh)
  • Master's in Laws (University of Geneva)
  • Bachelor in Laws (University of Geneva)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Exeter)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the HEA
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>