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Sonam Gordhan

Key information

  • Teaching Fellow in Environmental Law, Tort Law and Laws’ Connections
  • MPhil/PhD Candidate in Environmental Law
  • LLB (First Class Hons), King’s College London; LLM (Distinction), University of Sydney
  • s.gordhan@ucl.ac.uk 

Sonam joined UCL as a PhD student in September 2019. Her thesis is a doctrinal and jurisprudential project that seeks to identify and understand the function of adjudication in relation to climate change problems. Her research is supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership and a Faculty of Laws Research Scholarship.

Sonam holds an LLM from the University of Sydney and has worked with both civil society and academia to provide legal advice and research assistance in the field of environmental law. In 2019/20, she co-managed the ‘Power to the Planet!’ strand of UCL’s Global Citizenship Programme, and is a Teaching Fellow in Environmental Law, Tort Law and Laws’ Connections for the 2020/21 academic year.

Research Supervisors

Research Interests

Climate change law, theories of adjudication, climate change litigation, administrative law

UCL Associations/Academic and Professional Memberships

  • UCL Centre for Law and the Environment
  • UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), Student Member
  • Society of Legal Scholars, Student Member

Professional Experience

Prior to joining UCL Laws, Sonam worked as a Researcher at the UCL Bartlett School of Planning. She has also worked as a Phil Michaels Legal Scholar at environmental NGO Friends of the Earth, provided legal advice to civil society at the UN climate change negotiations, and set up the Climate Justice Fund, an international organisation supporting climate legal work in the Global South.

In addition to her work in civil society, she has held policy roles with the New South Wales State Government, and provided research assistance at King’s College London, the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney in environmental law and international law. 

Public Engagements and Media Coverage

  • ‘Climate Change and Adjudication: Mapping the Terrain’ (February 2020) 5th UCL-KCL Environmental Law Symposium, hosted by UCL and King’s College London (co-organised and presented)
  • ‘Climate Justice and Law in a Climate Emergency’ (December 2019) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 25th Conference of the Parties, hosted by the Climate Justice Fund and GermanWatch (co-organised and facilitated)

Publications

‘Plan B Earth v Secretary of State for Transport: Airport Expansion, the Paris Agreement and the Planning Act 2008’ [2020] Journal of Environmental Law eqaa010.

‘Human health, human rights and the environment’ (UKELA E-Law, November 2018).