Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape


Profile Duncan French

Extraordinary Professor

Head of Law School

University of Lincoln

Prof Duncan French  


Research niche/s

Research Associate – Global Environmental Law niche |


International environmental law and the international legal implications of sustainable development; subject specialisms: public international law, international environmental law, international legal implications of sustainable development, international economic law, international dispute settlement

Bio in brief

Professor Duncan French is Head of the Lincoln Law School and Professor of International Law. He is a leading academic on international environmental law and the international legal implications of sustainable development. He has written extensively in these areas, as well as writing generally on both broader questions of public international law (eg. treaty interpretation), international economic and investment law, and international dispute settlement. He has secondary research interests in international law of the sea and Antarctica.

As a key figure in the global debate on sustainable development, he has been co-rapporteur of the International Law Association Committee on the International Law on Sustainable Development for ten years (2002-2012). He was also Chairman of the ILA Study Group on International Law and Due Diligence (2012-2016).

In his capacity as a senior research fellow of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, Professor French spoke to diplomats at the UN Headquarters (New York) in April 2012 on the role of international tribunals in resolving complex environmental and socio-economic disputes. In 2017, he was on a UN technical experts committee considering environmental crime. Recent publications include: D. French and L. Kotzé (eds.), Sustainable Development Goals: Law, Theory and Implementation (Edward Elgar, 2018) and V. Ruiz Abou-Nigm, K. McCall-Smith and D. French (eds.), Linkages and Boundaries in Private and Public International Law (Hart, 2018).

Professor French was Professor of International Law at the University of Sheffield from 2009 until 2012, prior to taking up his new post as the Head of Lincoln Law School in February 2012. He became the Pro Vice Chancellor in January 2019. He is also Co-Director of the Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law and Justice.


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