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.


Download programme (PDF)

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.


Please register for the workshop here: Registration

Invitation thesis proposal (TP)

PhD Fellow Nana Harbo, Department of Law, will present

'Ansvar for skade på havmiljøet fra råstofaktiviteter i Grønland' (Liability for damage to the marine environment from mineral resource activities in Greenland)

on Thursday, 25 October 2018 at 09:00.

The members of the panel are:

  • Professor Jonas Ebbesson, Stockholms Universitet
  • Professor Bent Ole Gram Mortensen, Syddansk Universitet 

Main supervisor: Professor Ellen Margrethe Basse, Aarhus University

Co-supervisor: Professor Tore Henriksen, Tromsø Universitet 

The presentation will be in Danish.

If you would like to participate please send an email to Nana Harbo nanaharbo@law.au.dk. The TP takes place at Aarhus University, Department of Law, Bartholins Allé 16, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark – building 1410, room 247. Bus transport is available after the TP from Aarhus University to Moesgård Museum at approx. 11:30.


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'.

Hotel accommodation

Below you find some suggestions for hotels in Aarhus near the airport bus stop and the railway station:


Read more about Aarhus here: Visit Aarhus

Other relevant workshop

See here


Aarhus University
Department of Law
Bartholins Allé 16
8000  Aarhus C
Building 1410, room 247