UCL Faculty of Laws


The Role of Narrative in Environmental Law: Tales of Nature and the Nature of Tales

29 October 2019, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Image of two hands and the world in the centre

UCL Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens

Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture

About this event

While framing has become quite fashionable in environmental law, we have heard much less of narrative. In this lecture, Chris Hilson will explore the role that narrative plays in environmental law. Although the term is often used rather loosely, there is a rich academic tradition on narrative approaches to law which the current paper will be drawing upon. Much of this scholarship lies outside environmental law and varies significantly in terms of methodological underpinning. In examining its relevance for environmental law, it is crucial to keep this variation in mind. In the end, the paper comes down in favour of a strategic, rational choice version, which is carefully located alongside other discursive devices including framing and storylines. Hilson argues that narrative is part of an emotional tradition in environmental law, which has distinct advantages but also disadvantages.

About the speaker

Chris Hilson is Professor of Law at the University of Reading, School of Law and has written widely on environmental and climate law. His recent work has explored 'framing' in a variety of settings, including in relation to the UK law on fracking and regarding time in climate change litigation. He is a previous Editor of the Journal of Environmental Law and is a legal advisor to ClientEarth.

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