UCL Faculty of Laws


Recording | Race, Law and the Air we Breathe

16 November 2022, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Air Pollution worldwide

UCL Centre for Law and the Environment Annual Lecture 2022

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UCL Laws
Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens

Race, Law and the Air we Breathe

Speaker Dr Nadine El-Enany (Birkbeck School of Law)

Chair Professor Maria Lee (UCL Laws)


Wednesday 16 November 2022, 6-7pm

In-Person at UCL's Faculty of Laws and Live-Streamed


About this talk

In this talk, Nadine will examine the racialised effects of air pollution and argue that the state’s failure to limit the harmful, often fatal, consequences of air pollution amounts to racial state violence. Drawing on the literature on racialised custodial deaths and families’ struggles for justice for their loved ones, Nadine questions whether the law can be relied on to account for racialised deaths pursuant to air pollution. If the law cannot deliver truth, justice and accountability in cases of clearly identifiable racist state violence, its capacity to do so is even more limited in instances where such violence is harder to identify or detect. The climate catastrophe and its racialised effects are a less visible but no less brutal form of racial state violence than racialised police killings. In this talk, Nadine examines modes of resistance to such violence and asks whether it is possible to locate justice for victims of racial state violence and their families beyond the legal system.

About the speaker

Nadine El-Enany is Reader in Law at Birkbeck School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law. Nadine teaches and researches in the fields of migration and refugee law, European Union law, protest and criminal justice. Her current research projects, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, focus on questions of race and justice in death in custody cases, and the role of law in addressing health inequalities arising from environmental harm. Her book, (B)ordering Britain: law, race and empire (2020) is published by Manchester University Press.

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About the UCL Centre for Law and the Environment

The Centre for Law and Environment was established to provide a focal point for the UCL Faculty of Laws' outstanding expertise and academic strength in the field of the environment and the law. The main goals of the Centre are to advance research and teaching and explore the role of law in meeting contemporary environmental and energy challenges. The Centre is committed to treating domestic law (UK), regional (European Union) and international aspects of environmental law in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This approach is reflected in offerings on the LLM course and the supervision of doctoral students, as well as in the diverse range of research pursued by members of the Centre.

See the activities of the Centre