Centre for Law and Environment


Professor Richard Macrory visits UNEP in Nairobi

15 February 2024

Professor Macrory gave two talks on issues relating to environmental law.

UNEP, Nairobi

In January, Professor Richard Macrory (Emeritus Professor at UCL Laws), was invited by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya to give two talks to an audience of UNEP lawyers and policy makers, together with invited local environmental law academics and students.  The talks were hosted by Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Director of the Law Division, and chaired by Andy Raine, Senior Legal Officer and Head of Frontiers – and a former UCL Laws student (LLM Environmental Law and Policy, 2008).

The first talk concerned the British Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), where Professor Macrory is currently a non-executive director.  The OEP is one of a handful of independent environmental watchdog bodies set up by governments, and UNEP is monitoring its development with interest as a possible model elsewhere.  Professor Macrory discussed the OEP’s background, its core functions, and how it is currently exercising its powers.

The second talk concerned regulatory sanctions for environmental offences.  Professor Macrory spoke about the Review he led for the Cabinet Office in 2005, and his vision for a modern sanctioning system, based on core principles contained in the Review.  There should be a much richer range of possible sanctions than relying solely on the criminal law or warnings, but equally regulators must be transparent and ensure that the choice of sanctions is determined by the case in hand, and not subject to distorting factors (such as targets or financial incentives).