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Thesis prizes for Bettina Schmiedler and Till Steinkamp

Leiden Law School has awarded two students from the Van Vollenhoven Institute’s Master in Law and Society prizes for best thesis.

Bettina Schmiedler, who graduated from the Master in September 2022, won first prize for her thesis 'Can Climate Litigation Put Enhanced Climate Governance on the Road?' Schmiedler’s thesis examined the role of climate litigation in shifting notions of corporate responsibility for climate change mitigation in the German automotive sector. Drawing on empirical research, including interviews with sustainability specialists at automotive firms and NGOs pursuing climate litigation, as well as legal analysis, Schmiedler excavated the competing visions of corporate responsibility cohered around these cases. Schmiedler is now a Research Intern at the Impact Institute Amsterdam.

Till Steinkamp, who also graduated from the Masters in September 2022, won third prize for his thesis 'Intergenerational Justice as a Lever to Impact Climate Policies? Lessons from the Complainant Perspective on Germany’s 2021 Climate Constitutional Ruling'. Steinkamp’s thesis examined public climate change litigation through the lens of the plaintiffs in Neubauer, et. al. v. Germany, the climate case decided by the German Federal Constitutional Court in 2021. Through interviews with lawyers and activists, Steinkamp’s thesis revealed the significance of climate movements in framing the issue of climate change for society and thereby effectively laying the groundwork for the legal decision about the rights of future generations. Steinkamp is now working as a Bluebook Trainee in the Emergency Response Coordination Centre for the European Commission in Brussels.

Both students graduated with distinction from the MSc in Law and Society: Governance and Global Development.

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