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Jonathan Church

Key information

Email: jonathan.church.13@ucl.ac.uk

Jonathan joined UCL as a PhD candidate in September 2020, following 6 years as a climate accountability lawyer at the environmental law charity, ClientEarth. During that time, Jonathan worked on climate governance at the international, national and EU level. 

Jonathan takes a particular interest in the form and effectiveness of national climate change laws. Outside the UK context (where he has particular expertise), Jonathan has advised a national government on the development of its Net Zero law and appeared as an expert witness before a committee of the Oireachtas Éireann (Irish Parliament) concerning the design of Ireland’s proposed Net Zero law.

He holds an LLM in Environmental Law and Policy from UCL and an MSci in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Jonathan’s PhD thesis aims to situate national climate laws within legal theory, potentially to open-up new approaches for designing legitimate and effective laws that can help address systemic challenges. 

Research Supervisors

UCL Associations/Academic and Professional Memberships

  • UCL Centre for Law and Environment, 2020 – 
  • UK Environmental Law Association (co-convenor, Climate Change and Energy Working Party), 2016 – 2018 

Professional Experience

  • Climate Accountability Lawyer, ClientEarth, 2014 – 2020 
  • Solicitor in private practice, 2011 – 2013

Public Engagements and Media Coverage

Jonathan has appeared in or been published / quoted in a range of media:

Publications

  • Falling short, Demanding more – Laws for delivering Net Zero (ClientEarth, forthcoming 2021)
  • Mind the Gap - Reviving the UK Climate Change Act (ClientEarth, October 2016) 
  • Enforcing the Climate Change Act (2015) 4(1) UCLJLJ 109, UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence