39 Essex Chambers: Planning, Environment & Property

The “Resources and Seminars” section of the 39 Essex Chambers web site includes recent articles and news on planning, environment and property law by members of a set of chambers with expertise in this area.

Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research

A research guide prepared by Heidi Frostestad Kuehl, Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Librarian and Coordinator of Educational Programming and Outreach at Pritzker Legal Research Center, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago. The guide has a general introduction to the subject with a list of key abbreviations, and covers treaties, national legislation, library catalogues, subscription databases, periodicals, environmental organisations, and other types of web site relating to international environmental law. The guide has been updated to May/June 2017, with four previous versions, published 2006-2013, also available.

Center for International Environmental Law

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a nonprofit organisation which works to use international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society. Its web site includes a wide variety of documents relating to international environmental law.

Convention on Biological Diversity

This is an official site produced by the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It provides the text of the convention, information about meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the convention and other convention bodies, and COP decisions and other recommendations made under the CBD. There are extensive links to other sites and organisations concerned with biodiversity.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in England. This section of the GOV.UK web site provides information on Defra’s activities, policies, announcements, consultations, publications and statistics.

Department of Energy & Climate Change

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was created in October 2008 to take responsibility for the government’s energy policy and climate change mitigation policy. On 14 July 2016 it was merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. DECC’s announcements, publications, consultations and statistics may still be accessed here on the GOV.UK web site.


ECOLEX is an environmental law information service operated jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Its searchable database covers treaties, national and provincial legislation, court decisions, and other related literature. There are links to full text of some treaties.

Electronic Resource Guide: International Environmental Law

This chapter of the American Society of International Law’s Electronic Resource Guide is a structured guide to researching international environmental law, with hypertext links to the sources mentioned. The author is Anne Burnett of the University of Georgia [USA] Law School Library. Content is revised and updated from time to time (most recently on 5 April 2015).


ENTRI (Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators) is a searchable database of multilateral environmental treaties and related information produced by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University. Information includes treaty status (last updated in August 2012), and full text is provided of many treaties.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency, a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra, has been the principal regulator on environmental matters in England since it came into existence on 1 April 1996. Content in this section of the GOV.UK site includes information and guidance on UK and EU waste legislation and regulations, with links to texts.

European Commission: Environment

The web site of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment provides, under “Policies”, summaries of environmental legislation with links to the legislation itself on the EUR-Lex section of the Europa web site, policy documents, and recent news and press releases relating to European Union environmental policy. The “Legal compliance” section also includes links to legislation as well as information about ECJ judgments on environmental law.

European Environmental Law

This web site provides information and news about European environmental law and policy. Content includes links to relevant treaties, to full-text legislation of the EU and individual member states, and to case law including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the International Court of Justice, and some national decisions.


InforMEA is the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements. It provides access to the text of multilateral environmental agreements, to decisions and resolutions of their governing bodies, and to other relevant information.

International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships. Although the texts of conventions for which the IMO is responsible are not included on the site, there is a complete list of the conventions, summaries, details of status and ratifications, and extensive historical and other background information.

Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales, a public body sponsored by the Welsh Government, has various statutory duties and responsibilities which include regulation and compliance within Wales’s environmental industries. It was formed on 1 April 2013 from a merger of the Environment Agency Wales with two other bodies. Site content includes extensive guidance and advice, and annual reports 2013/2014 onwards.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Environmental compliance and regulation are among the responsibilities of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), which since 16 May 2016 has been an executive agency within Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). Site content includes business plans and annual reports 2016/17 onwards.

Nuisance and the Law: a Short Guide

This short guide to the law of nuisance forms the initial content on Wiglaw, a web site created in 2019 which is written and maintained by Gordon Wignall, a barrister at Six Pump Court chambers with a long-standing interest in the law of nuisance and related topics. Coverage includes private nuisance, public nuisance and statutory nuisance, and there are several “briefings” on individual topics.

Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate’s responsibilities in England and Wales include the processing of planning and enforcement appeals, holding inquiries into local development plans, listed building consent appeals, advertisement appeals, and reporting on planning applications. This section of the GOV.UK web site provides information, guidance, and downloadable documents and forms relating to the Inspectorate’s work.

Researching International Marine Environmental Law

This research guide, published on the GlobaLex web site, is by Arundhati Ashok Satkalmi, formerly Senior Research Librarian at the Rittenberg Law Library of St. John’s University School of Law, New York. The current version was published September 2016, and includes a link to the original version published December 2005, and to archived versions from 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is an agency of the Scottish Government responsible for the protection of the environment in Scotland. Its site includes a wide variety of publications, including consultation documents, a range of guidance documents, and information about SEPA’s regulatory work and initiatives.

Six Pump Court: Environmental Law News

This weekly Environmental Law News Update is produced by members of Six Pump Court chambers in the Temple. Its stated purpose is “to provide the latest environmental news stories and legal analysis in a readily accessible format concentrating on the week’s three key headlines”.


UKELA is the UK Environmental Law Association. The “Reading Room” section of the web site includes the association’s newsletter e-law 2016 onwards, although the most recent issues are available to members only, consultation responses and a variety of other documents, and a link to UKELA’s “Law & Your Environment” web site.

UN Environment Programme

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a specialised programme of the United Nations which coordinates the UN’s environmental activities. Its web site provides a wide variety of information relating to international environmental law, and to the environment generally.