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Two starter grants for grotius centre reseachers: h2olaw & colab

We are delighted to announce two new exciting research projects at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies! Dr Misha Plagis and Dr Hilde Woker have each received a starter grant for their collaborative research projects. Dr Hilde Woker and Dr Jason Rudall have received funding for their project ‘H2OLAW- Law-Science Interfaces within the Law of the Sea and Fresh Water Law’, and Dr Misha Plagis and Dr Daniel Peat have received funding for their project ‘COLAB - Compliance and Behavioural Approaches to International Law’. Each project team will receive €240k for these 4-year projects.

H2OLAW (Dr Hilde Woker & Dr Jason Rudall)

H2OLAW is a collaborative research project involving Dr Hilde Woker, an expert in the law of the sea, and Dr Jason Rudall, an expert in fresh water law. Both the law of the sea and fresh water law are characterised by important law-science interfaces. For example, scientific information is critical to determining thresholds of environmental harm and managing the equitable division of resources. Legal frameworks must respond to new scientific and technological developments in order to remain just and relevant. In practice, however, the encounter between these two fields presents many challenges given the apparently incommensurable characteristics of law and science.

Although both the law of the sea and fresh water law regulate the use and protection of water bodies, and whose law-science interfaces have regularly faced analogous challenges, they are rarely analysed or researched together. H2OLAW aims to explore the synergies, common and intersecting environmental challenges at the law-science interface of these two fields. Examples of cross-cutting issues are pollution, climate change, and the protection of biodiversity. The purpose of this project is not to research law-science interfaces in these two fields discretely, as has traditionally been the case, but rather to approach the research questions from the point of view of a legal framework applicable to water, be that salt or fresh water, recognising in turn the conceptually, environmentally and biologically integrated nature of these resources.   

COLAB (Dr Misha Plagis and Dr Daniel Peat)

COLAB is a partnership between Dr Plagis and Dr Peat focusing on compliance in international law. Drawing on the behavioural turn in international law, COLAB aims to engage the psychological processes as a way of explaining actors’ behaviour and evaluating the potential of norms and institutions. The project utilises socio-legal methodologies and centres the role of actors and the psychology behind their decisions in order to better understand the dynamics of compliance.

The project harnesses new methods for measuring compliance, including the use of surveys, experiments, and actor-based modelling. COLAB will also go beyond the more commonly studied institutions and subfields, such as the European human rights system, investor-state dispute settlement, and UN treaty bodies, and explores the work of lesser discussed institutions, such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), to further advance the broader discussion.

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