I am an environmental lawyer and I specialise in looking at the ways law can be used to protect the environment. Recently I have been working on the 'wicked problem' of the polluting waste from plastics and how a circular economy might help to stop the problem of waste. So I look at laws around the ecodesign of products and how they can be implemented to stop the production of waste and pollution. I look at the whole governance frameworks for environmental law including not just the legislation but policy, implementation, enforcement and compliance as well as the impact of property rights. I have been working on the rights to water and sanitation and how they can be used to ensure a decent standard of living for people especially in developing countries. I believe that we will not solve the problem of the degradation of the earth unless we work across disciplines seeking solutions together so I specialise in multidisciplinary research working with social and natural scientists and engineers.
I am the Director of the Environmental Regulatory Research Group (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/errg/) which is a research grouping of individuals and organisations engaged in research, teaching and consultancy into environmental regulation, compliance and enforcement and is part of the Surrey Centre for International and Environmental Law.
I am an associate member of the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey and I also practice as a barrister from Guildford Chambers.
University roles and responsibilities
- Professor of Law
- Director of Environmental Regulatory Research Group
- Chair, Special Interest Group on Plastics in the Environment
06 MAY 2020
Plastics Pollution Governance Framework Network to be co-lead by Professor Rosalind Malcolm
- regulatory frameworks for environmental management, compliance and enforcement
- ecodesign laws
- governance of plastics waste
- operationalising rights to water and sanitation
- property rights in environmental media
- food safety law
- statutory nuisance law
Current research projects include:
AHRC/GCRF, The Wicked Problem of Plastics & the Discourse Surrounding its Governance (AH/T008423/1) (PI: Prof Rosalind Malcolm, Surrey; Co-Is: Dr Itziar Castello-Molina, Surrey; Prof Nicholas Oguge, CASELAP, University of Nairobi, Kenya) (2020-2022)
EPSRC/GCRF Plastics Pollution Governance Framework Network (EP/T003529/1) (PI: Prof Nicholas Oguge, CASELAP, University of Nairobi, Kenya; Joint PI: Prof Rosalind Malcolm, Surrey; Co-I: Dr Noreen O’Meara, Surrey; (2019-2021)
QR GCRF ‘A rapid, high level analysis of water safety planning in rural communities using groundwater sources in Uganda and Malawi.’ (2019 – 2020) (£95,529)
Recently completed projects include:
Society for Legal Scholars Small Projects and Events Fund 2018 (£2,500.00) for organising a conference titled ‘Rethinking Property Approaches in Resources for the Circular Economy’ (June 2019) with Prof Alison Clarke (Surrey) and Dr Katrien Steenmans (Coventry)
Workshop funded by Universities of Surrey, Essex and SOAS, 2 June 2018. ‘Designing Law and Policy Towards Managing Plastics in a Circular Economy’
Undergraduate Sustainability Research Opportunities Programme 2018-19 ‘Regulatory instruments around single-use plastics’ (£2000 UG student bursary awarded to Hifza Younis)
D-Box: Demining tool-BOX for humanitarian clearing of large scale area from anti-personal landmines and cluster munitionsFP7 programme (FP7-SEC-2011.1.3-3); (Co-investigator, 3 years; 2012-2015)
Climate Change: Science and Policy - Collaboration with North Carolina State University. Surrey Institute of Advanced Studies and British Council PMI2 UK-US New Partnership funding.
3-K SAN: “Catalysing self-sustaining sanitation chains in informal settlements in Kigali, Kisumu and Kampala” (http://www.3ksan.org/). European Water Initiative ERA-NET SplashCo-investigator (April 2011 - March 2014)
“The establishment of legal frameworks for independent water providers in Kenya and Ethiopia”(Leverhulme Trust) with Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health and the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey.
Postgraduate research supervision
I supervise topics in environmental law and welcome PhD students.
- UK and European Environmental Law (UG and PG)
- Food Safety Law (PG and professional programmes)
- Statutory Nuisance Law (PG and professional programmes)
- Property Law (UG)
"Equity and Trusts"Q & A Series, by Wilkie, M., Malcolm, R. and Luxton, P. (8th edition 2012, Oxford University Press). (1st ed. 1994, 2nd ed. 1996, 3rd ed, 2002, 4th ed. 2004, 5th ed. 2006, 6th ed. 2008, 7th ed. 2010.)
"Land Law",Q & A Series, by Wilkie, M., Luxton, P. and Malcolm, R. (7th edition, 2011, Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0-19-929945-4, xxiii and 270 pages) (1st ed. 1995, 2nd ed. 1998, 3rd ed. 2001, 4th ed. 2003, 5th ed. 2005, 6th ed. 2008).
“Land Law: The Definitive Series” Institute of Legal Executives Tutorial Services, 1996.
English Legal SystemThree chapters contributed to the Manual for Institute of Legal Executives published in the autumn 1991: Chapter 4, "European Community Law", pp. 4.1 4.5, Chapter 14, "The Legal Profession", pp. 14.1 14.8,Chapter 15, "Financing Legal Services", pp. 15.1 15.6.[Updated for new edition in March 1993].
"The Best of Mainly for Students"Six chapters: pp. 207 211; 244 248; 441 446; 446 451; 472 480. (Estates Gazette, 1993) edited by Askham & Blake, (ISBN 0 7282 0185 2)
“The Best of Mainly for Students: Volume 2”Three chapters: pp. 232-236; 244 - 249; 389 - 392. (Estates Gazette, 1999) edited byAskham, P. and Blake, L.W., (ISBN 0 7282 03170)
“The Best of Mainly for Students: Volume 3”Four chapters: pp. 307 - 311; 317 - 321; 327 - 331; 395 - 399. (Estates Gazette,2004) edited by Askham, P. and Blake, L.W., (ISBN 0 7282 0422 3)
Courses I teach on
The approach traditionally adopted in the UK for the implementation of European Community laws affecting the environment is based on a regulatory model of criminal offences of strict liability. This means that environmental pollution offences are enforced in the mainstream criminal courts and are subject to criminal penalties of fines and/or imprisonment. The article considers in particular, offences involving water pollution and waste management and the defences available in respect of these crimes. It looks at the penalties imposed by the criminal courts and the guidelines available to determine the appropriate level of sentencing in considering the question 'does crime pay?'.
A collection of new papers by more than 20 United Kingdom and International experts on general and specific issues relating to the reform of all aspects of ...
The purpose of this book is to present an overview of the latest research, policy, practitioner, academic and international thinking on water security – an issue that, like water governance a few years ago, has developed much policy ...
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee. It looks at the interrelation between the Consumer Sales and Guarantee Directive (CSD) and the Ecodesign Directive (EDD) with respect to guarantees and product expected lifetime. Through legal research and stakeholder surveys, it develops an EU lifespan guarantee model, which could be implemented by amendments to the proposal for an Online Sales Directive (OSD) and the EDD. It recommends extending the EDD to include the lifespan and extending the limitation period of the OSD. A commercial guarantee for the lifespan of a product is also suggested.
Small drinking-water supplies face particular challenges in terms of their management. Being vulnerable to contamination but often not monitored regularly nor well-maintained, small drinking-water supplies may pose consequences for health of users. Sanitary inspection (SI) is a risk assessment tool to identify and manage observable conditions of the water supply technology or circumstances in the catchment area that may favour certain hazardous events and introduce hazards which may become a risk to health. This qualitative research aimed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the SI tool as published by the World Health Organisation to inform a review and update of the forms and to improve their robustness. The study identified a number of benefits of the approach, such as its simplicity and ease of use. Challenges were also identified, such as potential for inconsistencies in perception of risk between inspectors, in interpreting questions, and lack of follow-up action. The authors recommend a revision of the existing SI forms to address the identified challenges and development of complementary advice on possible remedial action to address identified risk factors and on basic operations and maintenance.
In this Chapter we examine the notion of water as a common treasury, and the implications that this characterisation of water has for property rights in water. We argue that a property rights system centred on neo-liberal conceptions of absolute private ownership, allowing private dominion over water and its commodification, is inappropriate for water and subverts its role as a common treasury. To enable water to function effectively as a common treasury, we argue, a more appropriate property model is one that emphasises and facilitates collaboration and co-operation rather than competition — in other words, a property rights system which acknowledges and promotes communal property in the forms we describe below.
All creatures including birds, animals and humans are at risk from plastic waste in the environment and the challenge of preventing it entering rivers, oceans, the atmosphere and land is urgent requiring our full attention.1 Yet, at the same time, plastics are a valuable material for preserving food, and they are used in textiles, transportation, construction and personal care products. Indeed, a world without plastics is unimaginable. The challenge then, is to deal with the escape of waste plastics in a way which enhances the circular economy – a closed-loop system where endof-service-life-objects become a resource. For most plastics like packaging, closed-loop systems already exist which can be improved through increasing collection and reuse/recycling. However, there are also uncontrolled losses of plastic materials that happen as “fugitive” emissions like tyre-wear or when laundering garments made from plastic. The problem of plastics waste is linked to the issue of mass consumption in the industrialised world, which has led to increasing production, the proliferation of goods, and the generation of waste. In highly industrialised societies, products are often treated as throwaway or ‘single-use’ items which not only increase the waste burden including fugitive emissions during their use phase, but also use raw materials in their manufacture thereby depleting the virgin resources of the planet. In the developing world, these problems exist too but are often exacerbated by the import and accumulation of plastic waste from the global north despite recent bans on such trade.
The book is divided into chapters covering each major topic on land law courses, andcontains approximately fifty questions and answers designed to test even ...
This book explains how to tackle problem and essay questions typically found in exampapers, and how to draft successful answers.
This book explains how to tackle successfully the sort of problems and essay questionstypically found in exam papers.
Background: While functional foods offer promise for public health and innovation in the food industry, the efficiency of such foods should be assured to protect consumers from misleading claims. Globally, many countries regulate the communication of the health effects of such foods to final consumers. Scope and approach: In the European Union (EU), the use of health claims was harmonized in 2006. All claims need to be scientifically assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and pre-approved. Implementing the regulation has involved a steep learning curve for stakeholders, resulting in many health claims being rejected. The EU-funded REDICLAIM project used existing guidance documents, analyses of Scientific Opinions on new health claim applications, and a series of interviews with experts involved in such applications to identify key points in the process of authorizing new health claims. Key findings and conclusions: Recommendations for the successful substantiation of new health claims in the EU were prepared. The substantiation of health claims is primarily based on human efficacy studies, and greater resources are required to authorize more innovative claims. The reported recommendations should be seen as a starting point for researchers in the area of nutrition and food technology, and for those dealing with functional foods, including the food industry.
This 20th edition continues as a first point of reference, reviewing the core principles, techniques and competencies, and then outlining the specialist subjects.
This book provides discussion on the impact of reusing polymers such as plastic and rubber on the environment.
Despite its long history, statutory nuisance law is still considered important in dealing with localised environmental problems. But it is an area of law that is now beginning to creak - the result of both its historical origins and the attitude of contemporary judges to its modern application. Key recent decisions of the British courts are examined, and the judiciary is shown to have adopted an unduly narrow approach and one that is based on a misinterpretation of legislative intention. A detailed examination of Parliamentary debates in the middle of the nineteenth century during the development of statutory nuisance laws shows that the concept was promoted as being broad, flexible and expansive. Modern courts have singularly failed to adapt statutory nuisance to contemporary needs, a lost opportunity since the statutory nuisance regime can provide an effective means for local government to deal rapidly with environmental problems as well as an accessible remedy for the private individual. © 2006 Oxford University Press.
"In the 10-volume Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability experts around the world provide authoritative coverage of the growing body of knowledge about ways to restore the planet.
This book provides discussion on the impact of reusing polymers such as plastic and rubber on the environment.
Conspicuous consumption has become the hallmark of the individualist model of society in the 21st century and the impacts of this consumption on the environment mean that the necessity to develop sustainable consumption patterns has become a central policy focus. Extended producer responsibility has already begun to focus on the product and its environmental impact. A new approach has now been canvassed by the European Community which proposes a radical revision in the way in which environmental impacts should be evaluated and controlled. Integrated product policy (IPP) is a proposal which reflects the problems of a society driven by consumerism. In this article the author outlines IPP and the principles behind it; looks at the European evolution of IPP; describes the White Paper proposals for establishing the framework conditions for continuous environmental improvement; and, examines the current framework and the viability of the new paradigm before providing some conclusions.
The Millennium Development Goals included a target to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015 – a right recognized as fundamental to human needs. Small independent water endors are often the only water supply option in peri-urban neighbourhoods in developing countries and fill a critical gap in the municipal system, but there is concern about the quality and price of their water. Such vendors need to be recognized and regulated due to their role in meeting basic water needs. This article reflects on the lack of regulation and discusses a recent multidisciplinary research project in Kenya and Ethiopia that considered whether there is a case for regulation of competition, price and quality. It concludes that recognizing small independent water vendors as part of a regulatory framework will result in increased access to water for the poor and assist in the realization of the MDGs; the right to water; and, intergenerational equity.
The Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (EC No. 1924/2006) has established a common framework for the regulation of nutrition and health claims used on foods across the European Union. This regulation aims to provide the European food industry opportunities for product innovation whilst protecting consumer interests with respect to controlling misleading advertising and promoting public health. However, in order to satisfy the approval of new health claims procedure particularly for new ‘reduction of disease risk’ claims [Article 14(1)(a) claims] , significant research activity is required by industry to scientifically substantiate the claims they wish to make. There is a need to establish whether the implementation of this legislation is in fact driving product innovation and the development of healthy foods or whether it forms a barrier to such developments. The EU-funded REDICLAIM project is currently considering these issues. This article describes the project’s preliminary results and outlines the further programme of work.
Waste can be conceived as pollution or a resource; pollution in relation to the vast amounts of waste produced that need to be managed, while a resource in that waste can be used as the virgin material in production processes. In both cases, waste is currently most commonly treated as an economic good and thus commodified as a result of approaching the ownership of goods from a Blackstonian absolute dominion perspective. In this paper we present a critique of this classic form of property ownership as it aids linear cradle to grave approaches to waste. In advocating a move towards circular systems for using waste, we propose the adopting of a Lockean conception of property. For this purpose we address three issues: (1) current property rights in waste; (2) alternative approaches to waste; and (3) impacts of applying Locke’s theory. First, we address when an object becomes classified as waste, who owns waste and when ownership changes hands. In discussing the latter, a critique of the classic forms of property ownership that support linear approaches is presented. Secondly, we investigate appropriate property regimes to address these critiques, namely extended producer responsibility and common-pool resource approaches. Finally, the seminal example of industrial symbiosis in Kalundborg, Denmark, is used to provide context for discussions using Locke’s property theory on the feasibility and implications of our property rights discussions and recommendations. Industrial symbiosis is a structure where waste is exchanged between industries within a given network or grouping forming micro-circular economies. In this symbiotic network, waste is thus diverted from landfill and other forms of disposal, thereby lessening the impact of the waste stream on the environment and the economy.
At the heart of the body of environmental controls available to local councils lies the concept of statutory nuisance under Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 ('the Act'). Local councils have a duty to investigate their areas from time to time seeking for the existence of statutory nuisances. In reality, the use of their powers is usually triggered by a complaint and, indeed, the Act specifically empowers them to follow up such complaints where it is reasonably practicable that they should do so. As is well known, the prime weapon is the abatement notice which must be served where the officers have formed the view that a statutory nuisance exists. An appeal to the magistrates' court lies within 21 days of the service of this notice. The effect of an appeal is normally to suspend the notice until the appeal has been heard. In the event that no appeal is made and yet the notice is not complied with, the local authority have a discretion to prosecute. It can be seen that these procedures mix administrative law with civil and criminal outcomes. The service of a notice is an administrative act and an appeal against it would be civil in nature, whereas a prosecution for failure to comply with a notice would be criminal in nature. But, both sets of proceedings take place in the magistrates' court with the potential for confusion in terms of the rules of evidence and the procedures that each entail. What should be a relatively straightforward procedure has become one where the complexities of the law and the variations from one case to another mean that drafting a watertight abatement notice has become an unrealised ambition by many an officer. It might not be an exaggeration to suggest that most abatement notices have become appealable on such grounds as these. If the interpretation of the requirements of section 80(1) means that officers could simply serve notices which required an abatement of the nuisance without specifying the manner of the abatement, then the problem might be resolved. A number of Divisional Court cases have considered this issue but without any satisfactory resolution. Some of these have now gone to the Court of Appeal and the latest of these has attempted to cut through this Gordian knot by taking this route to the interpretation of the statute.
Sanitary inspections (SIs) are checklists of questions used for achieving/maintaining the safety of drinking-water supplies by identifying observable actual and potential sources and pathways of contamination. Despite the widespread use of SIs, the effects of training on SI response are understudied. Thirty-six spring supplies were inspected on two occasions, pre- and post-training, by an instructor from the research team and four local inspectors in the Mukono District of Uganda. SI score agreement between the instructor and each inspector was calculated using Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient. Average SI score agreement between the instructor and all inspectors increased post-training for the Yes/No answer type (0.262 to 0.490). For the risk level answer type (e.g., No, Low, Medium, High), average SI score agreement between the instructor and all inspectors increased post-training (0.301 to 0.380). Variability of SI scores between the four inspectors was calculated using coefficient of variation analysis. Average SI score variability between inspectors reduced post-training for both answer types, Yes/No (21.25 to 16.16) and risk level (24.12 to 19.62). Consistency of answer agreement between the four inspectors for each individual SI question was calculated using index of dispersion analysis. Average answer dispersion between inspectors reduced post-training for both answer types, Yes/No (0.41 to 0.27) and risk level (0.55 to 0.41). The findings indicate that training has a positive effect on improving answer agreement between inspectors. However, advanced training or tailoring of SI questions to the local context may be required where inconsistency of responses between inspectors persists, especially for the risk level answer type that requires increased use of inspector risk perception. Organisations should be aware of the potential inconsistency of results between inspectors so that this may be rectified with appropriate training and, where necessary, better SI design and customisation.
To achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking-water quality and sanitation for all, and 10, to reduce inequality within and among countries, additional and urgent work is required. Efforts to achieve these Goals in the context of small drinking-water supplies, which are the furthest behind in regards to progress, are of particular need. Reasons for this disparity in progress include the remoteness of access to small drinking-water supplies and the lack of technical and financial capacity for monitoring supplies. The World Health Organization promote the use of Sanitary inspection (SI) as an on-site assessment of risk. Despite the potential to increase the body of knowledge and information on supplies in a region, there has been limited research into the role of citizen science and SIs. To meet SDG targets, we need to improve the reach of SIs. This study uses a mixed methods approach of quantitative on-site SI data collection and remote SI data collection via photographic images, together with qualitative data collection, collected by non-expert students, who are citizens of Malawi, as well as a panel of experts in the field of SI. Results indicate that, although further research into the topic is required prior to widescale implementation, the potential exists for citizens to conduct SI, with remote expert verification of the results using photographic images of supplies. Further documentation or guidance is required to support citizens in this process. The results highlight a critical gap in the availability of appropriate documentation for unprotected spring sources which is urgently required. The use of citizen science for SI data collection is in its infancy. However, this study indicates that there is potential to explore the use of citizen science in this area, which will contribute to achieving SDGs 6 and 10.
0.1 Purpose of this Handbook. The Handbook should help the managers of a humanitarian demining project understand the cultural, ethical and legal framework of the host country. The Guidelines developed and presented in the Handbook should promote the goodwill between the local community and the contractors that is vital for successful and efficient demining. This will assist in delivering the Project to time, cost and quality. Throughout the Handbook, where a Guideline emerges from the narrative, its reference number is shown in the right hand margin. 1 Scope. Our intention in this Handbook is to promote an awareness of the cultural issues that might be of significance to all humanitarian demining projects. However, we appreciate the difficulties of attempting to embrace in a single Handbook the religious and cultural requirements of all the communities of the world. The state of government in countries where demining is carried out can range from completely broken down at all levels to fully functioning, with effective policing of law and order. The Handbook is intended for use whatever the extent and effectiveness of national governance. The Handbook also incorporates the human development goals of the UN.
The hazards of the legal system may appear to leave the control of pollution subject to chance, whether that chance is the presence of a private litigator seeking a remedy for damage to his property or person, or an enforcement agency sufficiently motivated and resourced to handle the prospect of criminal litigation. But what is the alternative? It is a generally accepted principle that the polluter should pay, but that is only one side of the coin. In imposing liability on the polluter the result should be the remediation of the harm done to the environment or the prevention of any recurrence of the harm. Punishment may be an appropriate route for a society concerned with protection of the environment, but retribution needs to be matched with the practical reality of a protected environment. In that sense, as has been argued, the threat of civil litigation or criminal prosecution may be sufficient to achieve the desired aim. However, these approaches may be set alongside an arsenal of weapons above and beyond the legal system. Economic initiatives such as taxation have begun to be explored. Taxation on leaded petrol and on waste destined for landfill has had an effect in changing practices. The results need to be explored in more detail. For instance, the use of cars in the United Kingdom has not declined as a result of the imposition of increased taxation on petrol, and the imposition of landfill tax, while diverting waste to other disposal methods, may similarly have failed to halt the overall production of waste. Emissions trading schemes are another route to controlling levels of pollution. While these mechanisms are to be applauded to the extent that they are successful in preventing pollution, they should be seen as adjuncts, not alternatives, to a criminal enforcement system. While the process of the criminal enforcement of regulation may carry its own hazards, nevertheless it must remain at the heart of a system for environmental protection. Taxation and other economic controls may play a part, but the decriminalisation of environmental damage would convey the wrong message to society in general.
This book provides discussion on the impact of reusing polymers such as plastic and rubber on the environment.
This is an authoritative book, which takes the reader through the practical and legal issues associated with each statutory nuisance and focuses on the ...
This text provides a straightforward overview of environmental law, dealing with fundamental principles. The field of environmental law is wide-ranging and ...
A new piece of European legislation, the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) came into effect on 20 November 2009 and is to be implemented by Member States by November 20, 2010. This covers energy-using products under an earlier directive (the Energy using Products Directive) but also extends the range of products covered to include those which are related to energy use even if they do not actually use energy directly such as construction materials and fittings. So it covers 'any goods having an impact on energy consumption during use'. A product list is to be developed by the European Commission. Reduction in energy consumption is posited in the European Climate Change Programme (European Commission, 2006) and climate change is a priority in the Sixth Community Environment Programme (Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council). Climate change also now appears as an objective of the European Union in the Lisbon Treaty. Ecodesign is a key element of the European Commission's Integrated Product Policy and appears in the Commission Communication of 18 June 2003 'Integrated Product Policy - Building on Environmental Life Cycle Thinking'. It is also a key innovative aspect appearing in the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme. Building legislation on a life cycle approach is radical and novel given that most environmental impacts are regulated on a vertical basis where legislation is linked to the process rather than the product. This paper argues that the best way forward for achieving sustainability is to revolutionise the regulatory process by adopting a life cycle approach to the environmental impacts of products as the basis for legislation. It examines the impact of the Ecodesign Directive and seeks to evaluate the pros and cons of such an approach.
This is the first of two volumes based on papers presented at a March 1998 conference on "Contemporary Issues in Property Law" organized under the auspices ...
“Integrated Product Policy: Products and their Impact on Energy”
No matter how good your research and study skills, the ultimate test for the law student is the exam. This book explains how to tackle problem and essay questions typically found in exam papers, and how to draft successful answers.
Q&A;A Equity and Trusts offers a lifeline to students revising for exams.
Q&A;A Land Law offers a lifeline to students revising for exams.