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Annual conference 2011

Annual Conference 2011

Conference papers 2011 thanks to Environmental Law and Management (PDF Document)

The UKELA annual conference touched a highly topical nerve – the age of austerity and what it might mean for sustainable development. How do we protect the environment effectively whilst trying to improve people’s well being and tighten our belts? 183 delegates gathered at Norwich University to discuss how to reconcile the potential conflicts and work towards a sunnier future, whilst the clouds are gathering on the horizon.


Prof Tim O’Riordan, of the University of East Anglia and a former Sustainable Development Commissioner, set a theme which was to run through other talks. “For the first time the human hand is bigger than the hand of nature. The principles of Sustainable Development say that you can’t do anything if you break the bounds of nature and in a time of austerity it isn’t easy to say that we need to put resources into environmental protection”. This was a theme echoed by Prof Robert Lee of Cardiff University, who discussed the effects of localism and budget cuts on the regulatory environment. Reducing budgets could provide new opportunities as it had in Australia, where Terry A’Hearn had worked for many years for the Environment Agency in Victoria. This was providing any efforts could avoid the attentions of the “trolls”, as Ed Matthews of Transform UK, called them – lurking in government and trying to stifle new initiatives. He described trying to establish the Green Investment Bank, whilst overcoming bureaucracy, with a great deal of feeling. There were presentations also from Andrew Wiseman of Stephenson Harwood (contaminated land), James Maurici of Landmark Chambers (Aarhus) and Kate Cook of Matrix (biodiversity) before delegates were swept off, via the working party sessions, to their field visits.

Conference speakers and chairs left to right: Tim Clare (UKELA Vice-Chair); Ed Mitchell; James Maurici; Andrew Wiseman; Eloise Scotford; Prof Robert Lee; Kate Cook; Terry A'Hearn; Begonia Filgueira (UKELA Council)


The gala dinner was held in the precincts of Norwich Cathedral with Tom Burke as the after dinner speaker.



On Sunday morning there was a trot around the hot cases from four barristers, left to right: Garrett Byrne (4-5 Gray’s Inn Square); Stephen Hockman QC (6 Pump Court); John Pugh-Smith (39 Essex Street); Mark Brumwell (UKELA Chair); Ned Westaway (Francis Taylor Buildings).

With thanks

The main sponsors of the 2011 conference were:

39 Essex Street; WSP Environment and Energy; Landmark Information Group; LexisNexis

Thanks also to Environ (memory sticks); GroundSure (conference bags and pens); 6 Pump Court (welcome drinks); Landmark Chambers (pre gala dinner drinks)

And our thanks to our excellent conference organisers, Origin Events

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