UCL Energy Institute


Kim Bouwer

Exploring the potential and limitations of tort law in the context of the risks and uncertainties of decarbonising the built environment.

Primary supervisor: Professor Maria Lee (Laws)
Secondary supervisor: Professor Tadj Oreszczyn
Starting date: November 2011
Projected completion date: November 2014

Kim’s research explores the extent to which private law remedies support or undermine legislative and policy measures, designed to reduce carbon consumption in domestic buildings. 

The research explores three foreseen or persisting problems of building decarbonisation works: poor building performance and miscertification, unintended consequences affecting human health, and fuel poverty.  Central to the research is an examination of tort’s deep structure and how this shapes the interests it protects, in the research context.  

Kim’s research interests include tort, energy and climate change law and governance, environmental law, regulation and the impact of human rights on private law. 


Kim joined the UCL Energy Institute in November 2011.  Before joining UCL, Kim worked as a lawyer.  She trained conducting human rights and public interest litigation, predominantly claims against the police, in a Johannesburg law centre, then practiced as an attorney.  Kim practiced as a solicitor after moving to the UK.  While at Thompsons, a trade union firm, she conducted industrial disease litigation on behalf of claimants suffering from asbestos related conditions; subsequently she conducted human rights litigation, predominantly actions against the police, at Bhatt Murphy in London. 

Kim previously taught Property and Contract Law at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg.  She is currently employed as a Teaching Fellow (Tort) at UCL Laws. 

Kim is a member of the Society for Legal Scholars, UK Environmental Law Association, Socio-Legal Studies Association, Human Rights Lawyers Association, London Environmental Law Reading Group and Haldane Society.  Professional associations include the Law Society of the Transvaal (South Africa) and the Law Society of England and Wales.