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Ecologic Legal - the legal team of the Ecologic Institute.

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Verbraucherrechte in internationalen Handelsabkommen

In principle, increased trade resulting from trade agreements can offer consumers access to goods and services that are less expensive or of higher quality. At the same time, there is a risk that rules in trade and investment agreements limit the sovereign right of states to adopt measures for consumer protection at the domestic level. Hence, much depends on how these agreements are designed. A study, compiled by Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and Christian Pitschas, provides an overview of consumer-related rights in recent international trade agreements. The study is available fro download.Read more

Options Under Public International Law to Increase Resource Efficiency

June 2016 to April 2019

The research project’s objective is to provide a legal and political science perspective to the Federal Government’s efforts to anchor the protection of resources more strongly at the international level. The project analyses how public international law and other international governance mechanisms can contribute to making the utilisation of resources more efficient and reducing resource consumption.Read more

Consumer Rights in International Trade Agreements and How They Can be Enforced

September 2016 to December 2016
International trade agreements can have an impact on consumers in different ways. On the one hand, they can lead to more or cheaper products to become available for consumers. On the other hand, these agreements contain rules for political and legal meaures that the parties to an agreement may adopt; this can limit the scope for regulation in favour of consumers. How trade agreements are designed is therefore important for consumers. In this project, Ecologic Institute compiles a study for the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, analysing how consumer rights are addressed in international trade agreements and how they can be enforced by consumer organisations.Read more

Regulatory Cooperation under CETA

Implications for Environmental Policies
On 30 October 2016 Canada and the EU signed CETA. Ratification of the agreement will be the next step. A new study by the Ecologic Institute analyses the environmental implications of regulatory cooperation under CETA. The study finds that CETA establishes a comprehensive institutional framework for regulatory cooperation between Canada and the EU and sets primarily procedural obligations. CETA does not contain detailed obligations that predetermine specific outcomes of regulatory cooperation. Regulatory cooperation under CETA is voluntary. Regulatory cooperation under CETA has a focus on trade liberalisation and consistency of standards. It does not focus on enhancing environmental protection. The study is available for download.Read more
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Ecologic Legal

Welcome to Ecologic Legal - the legal team of the Ecologic Institute.

Ecologic Legal links environmental analysis and policymaking to legal frameworks and the law-making process. Our aim is to enhance the design and implementation of environmental policy and governance.

Drawing on the expertise of a team of specialized lawyers, we advise decision-makers on all aspects of international, EU and domestic environmental law and governance. We also work closely with economists, policy analysts and environmental scientists as part of Ecologic’s interdisciplinary projects and with external organizations and policymaking institutions.

Ecologic Legal works on a broad range of topics, but has particular expertise in the following areas:

Development and implementation of international environmental law

Ecologic Legal supports the German government in the international climate change negotiations on an ongoing basis. Ecologic Legal has also completed several projects on how geoengineering could be regulated at the international level. Another area of expertise are international legal rules on how public funding for environmental purposes is provided and distributed. The team has also worked on the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements such as the PRTR Protocol adopted under the Aarhus Convention and the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing.

International economic law and its impact on environmental regulation

Ecologic Legal has completed various projects on the trade-environment interface. These include studies on regulatory cooperation and investor-state dispute settlement in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as reports on the compatibility of support measures for renewable energy or border adjustment measures with WTO law. Members of Ecologic Legal also organize the Trade Nights, a forum to discuss trade law and policy in an informal setting among experts.

Implementation and enforcement of environmental law

Ecologic Legal is dedicated to understanding environmental law as applied in reality and to providing recommendations on how to improve its implementation and enforcement. Our work on this topic includes a project on how to more effectively combat environmental crime and a study on the potential of harmonizing rules on environmental inspections at the EU level.

EU and national energy law with a focus on renewable energy sources (RES)

Ecologic Legal is conducting various projects that address inter alia the legal framework of RES supply and promotion. These include the mid-term evaluation of the Renewable Energy Directive and the legal assessment of technical requirements for producers and consumers in an electricity system with a large share of renewable energy as well as scientific support of the federal ministries in the course of the German energy transition. The latter focused on the further development of existing instruments to promote RES in both the electricity and heat sector. Members of Ecologic Legal also collaborate with Ecologic Institute’s economists and political scientists on the design of future governance frameworks such as the EU Climate and Energy Package as well as regional cooperation within the policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030.

The legal team combines a strong academic background with substantial professional experience as practising lawyers and policy advisers. Our books, studies, lectures and articles in peer-reviewed journals contribute to academic and policy debates on key environmental issues. The team at Ecologic Legal also provides specialized training to German trainee lawyers.

For an overview of our projects, publications and team please follow the links on this website.

For inquiries concerning Ecologic Legal, please contact Dr. Ralph Bodle, LLM.