If you are interested in the environment and are studying law or environmental science, being a member of UKELA is an invaluable way to start your professional career. Enhance your professional skills, add to your CV and start building your own professional network. Follow the tabs at the top of the page to find out more about all these fantastic opportunities. 

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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. The prize is the opportunity to attend and present at the UKELA Annual Conference*

*subject to terms

2023 Competition

We are delighted to announce the essay question for this year's competition has been set by Victoria Jenkins and Kyriaki Noussia. Details of how to enter are set out in the competition rules. All entries must be submitted by midday on 31 March 2023. Please download the competition rules and application form

"If we are to meet the challenges of the climate and nature crises, it is essential to strengthen current approaches to environmental governance." Discuss


Winner 2022 - Current regulatory approaches to Net Zero are ineffective in addressing the climate crisis

The winner of the Andrew Lees essay prize 2022 was Sebastian Van Dack-Owens. Our judges said that Sebastian's well-researched essay "adopted an engaging writing style and provided a compelling argument about the role of regulation in addressing the "frightening reality of the climate crisis". Sebastian is currently studying the Bar Training Course at BPP’s London Holborn campus part time, for which he was awarded two scholarships by BPP, while also working in a non-law role. 

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 

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