UCL Laws Research: Academics

Andrew Lewis   MARIA LEE
Professor of Law

contact details:
phone: +44 (0)20 7679 1449 | internal: x21449
email: maria.lee@ucl.ac.uk

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Maria Lee joined UCL as a Professor of Law in 2007. She is a member of the Centre for Law and the Environment, Centre for Ethics and Law and Centre for Law and Governance in Europe. Maria taught previously at King's College London and at the University of Central Lancashire and is also a former member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the London Sustainable Development Commission. She was a member of the Lancet / UCL Commission on climate change and health, which reported in 2009.

Maria’s main research interests lie in the law and policy of environmental protection. She is particularly interested in the ways we make decisions on risk, especially in areas of high technological complexity and controversy. She concentrates on the governance of decision making, examining the use of expertise, public participation and varied regulatory approaches. She has applied this work in a range of areas, including genetically modified organisms, nuclear energy, nanotechnology and water. Maria's main focus is regulation at EU level, but the relationships between EU, national and international actors are inevitably significant.

Maria’s current work examines the borderlines between private law (especially tort) and environment / public health regulation. Public law regulation has been the primary legal tool for the protection of public or collective interests in environment and public health for many decades. The private law of tort is frequently however called on to protect individual rights or interests (in eg property, physical integrity, amenity) affected by regulation itself or by the regulated activity. Where these private / individual rights and interests meet collective / public interests, the private law of tort meets regulation.


  • EU Regulation of GMOs: Law, Decision-making and New Technology (2008, Edward Elgar)
  • Environmental Protection, Law and Policy: Text and Materials (2007, Cambridge University Press) co-authored with Jane Holder, also of the Faculty of Laws at UCL
  • EU Environmental Law: Challenges, Change and Decision-Making (2005, Hart Publishing)

Articles and chapters in edited collections

  • “Safety, Regulation and Tort: Fault in Context” (2011) 74 Modern Law Review 555-580
  • “Tort Law and Personal Injury in the Regulatory State’ [2011] Journal of Personal Injury Law 137-143
  • “Tort Law and Regulation: Planning and Nuisance” [2011] Journal of Planning Law 4-11
  • “Risk and Beyond: EU Regulation of Nanotechnology” (2010) 35 European Law Review 799-821
  • "Hunter v Canary Wharf." In: Paul Mitchell and Charles Mitchell, Landmark Cases in the Law of Tort (Hart Publishing, 2010)
  • "Beyond Safety? The Broadening Scope of Risk Regulation" in Colm O'Cinneide Current Legal Problems 2009 ( Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • "EU Multi-level Governance of GMOs: Ambiguity and Hierarchy." In: Michael Cardwell and Luc Bodiguel Regulation of GMOs ( Oxford University Press, 2010) draft available on Committee of the Regions website
  • "Personal Injury, Public Nuisance and Environmental Regulation" 2009 King's Law Journal 129
  • "Law and Governance of Water Protection Policy." In: Joanne Scott, EU Environmental Governance (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • "The Governance of Coexistence between GMOs and other Forms of Agriculture: A Purely Economic Issue?" 2008 Journal of Environmental Law 198-212
  • "The Environmental Implication of the Lisbon Treaty" 2008 Environmental Law Review 131-138
  • "Regulatory Solutions for GMOs in Europe: The Problem of Liability" 2003 Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 311-340
  • "The Usual Suspects? Public Participation Under the Aarhus Convention" 2003 Modern Law Review 80-108 (co-authored with Carolyn Abbot)
  • "What is Nuisance?" 2003 Law Quarterly Review 298-325

Current Teaching
Maria Lee contributes to the undergraduate course in tort law

Maria Lee contributes to postgraduate courses in environmental law and policy.

Ph.D Supervision
Maria welcomes applications in the areas of environmental and tort law. Her current students are studying areas including climate change and corporate social responsibility.

This page last modified 23 January, 2014 by Laws Webmaster