As a species and as a planet, we are facing significant environmental harms, many of which are highly likely to only get worse over time - climate change, air pollution, biodiversity loss, deforestation, chemical harms, waste pollution, poor water quality, and so on. Somewhere in the story of each of these forms of environmental harm are lawyers. They work in law firms large and small; they work for the government and regulators as civil servants; they work in-house in large corporations and charities. These lawyers lubricate, lobby, legislate, and litigate for their clients. In this talk, Professor Vaughan will suggest that some of the environmental harms that lawyers help their clients bring about, ‘perfectly legally’, raise important and significant questions about the ethics of that lawyering. Do lawyers do things that cost society – in the form of environmental harms – too much? And are the forms of environmental injustice that we face ultimately unsuited to, and require more than, the dominant philosophical approach to lawyers’ ethics, the Standard Conception?
Steven is Vice Dean (Strategy) and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London, having previously served the Faculty as Deputy Dean. The author and editor of four books and dozens of peer-reviewed journal papers and other publications, he is a recognised world-leading scholar in two primary academic fields: environmental law (including on climate change, chemicals regulation, planning law, and contaminated land development); and the legal profession (writing on ethics, diversity, regulation, and legal education). Steven began his career in 2003 with a decade in the City, working as an environmental law solicitor in two elite global law firms, first at Freshfields and then at Latham & Watkins. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Stanford University, the University of Melbourne, and the Frank J. Kelley Institute of Ethics.
This event will be hybrid and will be held in REC A (Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam) and online. Please register below and if you wish to attend online, please add the zoom link upon registration. You will then receive it in your confirmation email.