Just Transition Conference 2023

In May 2023, we look forward to welcoming delegates to the Malmaison Hotel for the Just Transition, Security and Law Conference, jointly organised by The Dundee Just Transition Hub.

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Just Transition, Security and Law


The Just Transition, Security and Law Conference will be held on 18 – 19th May 2023 in the ;Malmaison Hotel, Dundee. The conference is jointly organised by the Dundee Just Transition Hub; CNRS and TREE, Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle ;and the Rights and Freedoms Research Cluster, Royal Holloway University of London, with the support of the Society of Legal Scholars and Zero Waste Scotland.

We are delighted to present the first interdisciplinary, international conference to address the topic of the transition to a lower carbon economy, security and law.

The conference invites scholars to think and discuss the key question of: Which are the challenges that security and transition create for law?

The conciliation of societal objectives today is challenging for all. On the one hand, the focus in placed on the promotion of a just transition to a lower carbon economy and, on the other, on the promotion of different dimensions of security, notably across the range of: food and water, environmental and energy, finance and economic, and national and international. The conference aims at advancing interdisciplinary research and teaching in respect to the challenges for law and its institutions, for legal scholars, lawyers, human rights defenders, professionals in the relevant areas, and students.

We look forward to welcoming delegates to Dundee.

Important dates

Registration opens Friday 10 March 2023
Submission of abstracts by Friday 10 March 2023
Outcome of submissions informed by Sunday 26 March 2023
Registration closes by Wednesday 3 May 2023
Submission of papers by Sunday 7 May 2023
Conference Thursday-Friday 18-19 May 2023

Keynote speakers

Prof Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Professor of Energy Policy, Sussex University and University Distinguished Professor, Aarhus University

Prof Cecilia Tortajada, Professor in Practice – Environmental Innovation, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow.

Call for papers

The 2023 conference will be held in person at the Malmaison Hotel, Dundee on 18-19 May 2023.

We invite papers adopting an interdisciplinary approach to any topic within the scope of the conference. Papers will be selected and organised in panel sessions, and each panel will address a dimension of security. In addition, a panel will be organised for the discussion of the challenges concerning the Arctic, so we invite papers addressing the challenges that this region faces. A roundtable will be organised after the panels, to reflect about how the challenges discussed in the conference affect legal education. Finally, we welcome submissions from early career scholars.

We will aim at publishing the best papers in a leading, internationally recognised legal journal that accommodates interdisciplinary research, or as an edited collection.


Recent developments have brought security back on the agenda of policymakers, civil society, and academia, leading to an increase in military and security spending. In parallel, these actors show increasing awareness that the transition to a lower carbon economy may create injustices. For instance, both just transition and food security have been addressed at COP27 (Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, Joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security). The discussions that precede the adoption of these instruments show that the latter fall short of addressing many of the concerns. For instance, earlier drafts also mentioned water security.

The truth is that the relationship between the transition and security is both complex and understudied. If the challenges of attaining a transition that is just are already significant, new and more complex challenges to the transition emerge in terms of security. These challenges must be discussed and understood in a holistic manner, with full appreciation of their complexity and interrelationship.

The literature on the transition and security has always been very fragmented and requires urgent, renewed attention. Too many scholars operate in silos and do not connect the security issues together with justice, which calls for interdisciplinary studies. These challenges are concerning for legal institutions, lawyers, human rights defenders, legal scholars, and students, who may find themselves lacking the knowledge and resources necessary to respond to the materialisation of these challenges in practice.

The conference aims at closing these gaps, at bringing practitioners, legal scholars, and students to engage with a topic that is both timely and multifaceted.

Some important questions are:

  • Is there a right to a just transition?
  • How can legal and law based interdisciplinary scholarship contribute in terms of addressing potential clashes between security and just transition?
  • How does resolving energy security through the prism of energy justice ensure a just transition?
  • How do these clashes arise in respect to the Arctic and other regions?
  • Which reforms to law and policy are necessary to address these clashes?
  • How do we bring this discussion to the classroom?
  • Are lawyers, human rights defenders, practitioners in the relevant areas equipped to work with the challenges arising there from?
  • How can we ensure that legal graduates are aware of all the elements of a just transition so they can affect change throughout their careers?

Organising committee

The Committee is formed by Dr Sufyan Droubi (University of Dundee), Mr Andrew Allan (University of Dundee); Prof Raphael Heffron (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour); Prof. Louis De Fontenelle (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour); Prof Darren McCauley (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Newcastle University); and Dr Leonardo Valladares Pacheco de Oliveira (Royal Holloway University of London).

Scientific committee

Prof Jill Marshall (Royal Holloway University of London); Dr Edzia Carvalho (University of Dundee); Dr Fernando Fernandes (University of Dundee); Dr Cecilia Juliana Flores Elizondo (Manchester Metropolitan University); Dr Luciana Ghiotto (Universidad Nacional de San Martin, CONICET, Transnational Institute), Dr Javier Echaide (Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET) and Dr Emmanuelle Santoire (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour).

Sponsors and organisers

  • Dundee Just Transition Hub with UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy, and Science
    School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, University of Dundee
  • The Society of Legal Scholars
    Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour,  France
  • Newcastle Law School
    Newcastle University
  • Rights and Freedoms Research Cluster
    Royal Holloway University of London
  • Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, Pau, France
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Zero Waste Scotland

Privacy notice

Download the privacy notice for the Just Transition, Security and Law conference 2023.