Tendencies in Legal Approaches
and Instruments for the Protection
of Ecological Systems

  • Workshop on 25-26 October 2018

The INTRAlaw (International and Transnational Tendencies in Law) Center, Aarhus University, is pleased to announce a workshop on the transnational development and use of legal norms and other instruments of legal relevance that have an impact on the protection of threatened ecosystems. The workshop will focus on transnational and multi-level aspects in environmental governance and regulation of ecosystems’ protection and international conservation of terrestrial and marine areas. This includes e.g. the use of the ecological approach, the ecosystem approach, and the socio-ecological approach in law and legal research. The workshop seeks to address the factors and theories of importance for socio-ecological resilience and the role of socio-ecological theories in the development of environmental law. It will address the design of norms and the interaction between the norms and economic instruments, spatial information, Web-based GIS tools, and Web-based handling and filing systems (digital self-service and decision-making systems). This is related to the importance of openness of institutions, so as to provide for extensive participation of “the public concerned” and for access to justice.

Call for papers

Paper proposals are welcome from scholars, practitioners, researchers as well as governments, businesses and civil society representatives with a particular interest in this area. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The architecture and design of environmental law in regard to the effective implementation of the varios approaches and instruments in the implementation of the law.
  • The governance of ecosystems and biodiversity of importance for the agricultural productivity and resilience.
  • The protection of ecosystems and biodiversity by procedural rights as ensured by the Aarhus Convention.
  • The effectiveness of the different approached and instruments (including the use of liability concepts) used in the marine protection.
  • The possibilities that eGovernment provides and legal challenges it brings to the protection of ecosystems – e.g. with the focus on the role of science and technology in the design of law, the decision-making, and appeal systems.

Among the many interesting questions that we also want to discuss are the following: How are eGovernment initiatives influencing the perceived performance of environmental decision-making of importance for the protection of ecosystems? Is it possible to combine a socio-ecological resilience approach with eGovernment? Is it possible to combine these two approaches with the fundamental aspect of “the rule of law”: creating certainty, transparency, predictability, and stability?

The keynote speakers are professor Jonas Ebbesson, Stockholms University, Sweden, professor Tore Henriksen, Tromsø University, Norway, and professor Bent Ole Gram Mortensen, University of Southern Denmark.

Submission of abstract proposals

  • Deadline for abstract submission is 31 August 2018.
  • Abstracts of max. 500 words with a short bio should be submitted.    
  • Authors will be informed about the final decision on their proposal by 13 September 2018



  • The workshop is funded by INTRALaw.
  • There is no registration fee; food and drinks during the workshop will be provided with the exception of the dinner. Presenters will be invited to join the workshop dinner on the 25 October.
  • Participants will have to arrange and finance their travel and accommodation themselves. The organizers will, however, arrange bus transport between the city center and the conference venue both days – further information will follow. 


Ellen Margrethe Basse (EllenMB@law.au.dk )

Birgitte Egelund Olsen (beo@law.au.dk)

Shona Walter (shona.walter@law.au.dk)

Nana Amalie Harbo (nanaharbo@law.au.dk)

Lærke Assenbjerg (assenbjerg@law.au.dk)

Katerina Mitkidis (katpe@law.au.dk)

Keynote speakers

Tore Henriksen

Tore Henriksen is Professor of law at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and the Director of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea at the UiT.

Tore Henriksen´s main research interest is in the Law of the Sea and international fisheries and environmental law. His research in recent years has focused on the Law of the Sea and its operationalisation in the Arctic.

The title of his speech at the work shop will be 'Challenges of integrating newer environmental law into the law of the sea'.


Bent Ole Gram Mortensen

Prof., Ph.D. Bent Ole Gram Mortensen holds a chair in 'Commercial Law, including especially Environmental and Energy Law' at the University of Southern Denmark. For the last 28 years, Gram Mortensen has been engaged in the legal aspects of environmental and energy issues. He has written and contributed to a large number of articles and books in English, Danish and German, having dealt with legal matters on both national and EU level. At present, he is working with eGovernance and data protection.

Prof. Gram Mortensen has in the past worked for The Danish Ministry of Justice, as a solicitor in private law firms and as a legal manager for Maersk Drilling. At present, he is Vice Chairman of the Danish Energy Board of Appeal and Chairman of the Valuation Authorities in the Region of Southern Denmark in compliance with the Renewable Energy Act.

At the Department of Law at the University of Southern Denmark prof. Gram Mortensen is the head of the Public law group. Further, he holds the chair of the research groups Commercial Administrative Law and Legal Informatic Project (LiP).

The title of his speech at the workshop is: 'Digitalization of Environmental Governance'.


Jonas Ebbesson

Jonas Ebbesson is Professor of law at Stockholm University, Sweden, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Director of Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre at Stockholm University.

Jonas Ebbesson specializes in environmental law and international law. His research is concerned with the transboundary dimensions of environmental law, and the compatibility of international and national environmental law. Among his areas of research are the responsibility of transnational corporations for harm to the health and the environment; the legal structures of importance for socio-ecological resilience; and especially on the concept of public interests, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. The latter includes comparative work on access to justice in environmental matters in the EU and studies on the notion of public participation and environmental impact assessment in international law.

Jonas Ebbesson is the Chairperson of the Compliance Committee under the Aarhus Convention see https://www.unece.org/environmental-policy/conventions/public-participation/aarhus-convention/tfwg/envppcc/aarhuscc-members.html. He has also participated in the UN’s expert groups working with the procedural rights of the public concerned.

In the last couple of years, together with two practicing lawyers, he has represented about 800 Chileans in a huge lawsuit against the Swedish mining company Boliden for harm caused by its hazardous mining wastes, shipped to Chile in the 1980s.

The title of his speech at the workshop is: 'How can legal scholars assess the effectiveness of law, different legal designs and approaches?'

Conference book

If we receive enough conference papers relevant for publication, we expect to publish a conference book with the temporary working title 'The architecture and design of environmental law (incl. digitalised law) in regard to effective implementation'.

Book your hotel

We have prebooked rooms at two hotels in Aarhus for the conference:


CABINN Aarhus – www.cabinn.com/hotel/cabinn-hotel-i-aarhus

  • Commodore single rooms at a price of DKK 670 per night including breakfast
  • You can book the room yourself by mail or phone (aarhus@cabinn.com - +45 86757000).
  • Please refer to Block ID: 323976 when you book.


Comwell Aarhus – www.comwellaarhus.dk

  • Single rooms with breakfast at a price of DKK 1013 per night including breakfast.
  • You can book the rooms yourself at: booking.aarhus@comwell.dk
  • Please refer to booking no. 4608157 when you book

Please do not hesitate to contact us at  shona.walter@law.au.dk, if you have any questions.


Moesgaard Muesum 
Moesgård Allé 15,
8270 Højbjerg,