About Andrew Lees

Andrew Lees was the Campaigns Director for Friends of the Earth and a leading environmental campaigner on a range of issues from water pollution to illegal waste dumping. He died suddenly in 1994 while on a working holiday in Madagascar campaigning against a large opencast mine. Read more about the Andrew Lees Trust.

The essay competition was established in his memory and gives students the opportunity to demonstrate a good understanding and analysis of relevant environmental law via a well written and researched essay.


2024 Competition

We were delighted to have received 10 essays for the annual Andrew Lees Essay writing competition launched in January. 

Our thanks to Dr Victoria Jenkins (Associate Professor, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University) and Dr Kyriaki Noussia (Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Reading) set the question: "Critically assess the impact of national laws in the UK on the achievement of the climate related targets in the Paris Agreement."  

They reviewed the essays to select Colin Vanelli as the winner saying: “The essay was well researched, nicely written and engaging. It created a clear argument on the problems of the Climate Change Act 2008 and possible responses to this which will provide the basis for beginning an interesting conversation about the approach to climate change in the UK.”

Colin Vanelli, is doing the conversion course at BPP Law School, his essay will be published in elaw before being released on the website, he also receives a free online ticket for the UKELA Annual Conference. 

Our thanks and congratulations to all the entrants for participating in the competition. You gave Victoria and Kyriaki a hard job selecting a winner!

The other entrants, who will receive a year’s free UKELA membership, included: Vinicius Campos Pedro, Alexander Blackfield, Puja Patel, James Dicker, Ahanaf Taskin Ar-Rafee, David Adeyemi-Abere, Christine Wan and Aiko Yeo.


Keep an eye out next Spring to take part in the 2025 competition. In the meantime, you’ll be able to read previous winning entries on the website.


Previous winners

2023 - Winner: Garima Thakur - Read the winning essay 

2022 - Winner: Sebastian Van Dack-Owens - Read the winning essay

2021 - Winner: Niamh Kelly - Read the winning essay

2020 - The competition did not run in 2020

 2019 - Winner: Ryan Ross - Read the winning essay

2018 - Winner: Samuel March - Read the winning essay