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Professor Petra Minnerop

Professor of International Law

Professor of International Law in the Durham Law School
Deputy Executive Dean, Global (covering Catherine Montgomery's research leave) in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health
Professor of International Law in the Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)
Management Board Member in the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience 


Professor Petra Minnerop works at the intersection of law and science in the context of sustainability, climate change and environmental degradation. Her research addresses how the law can be used to effectuate change in light of scientific evidence, to address global environmental crises. She uses comparative legal analysis and interdisciplinary methods and has published widely on climate change, environmental law and policy and international law.

In her administrative role at Durham University, she serves as the Chair of the UN SDG Group of the University, with responsibility for the University's reporting on Sustainability (QS) and the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (THE Impact ranking) in the academic dimension. She leads on the University's engagement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She currently also serves as the Deputy Executive Dean (Global) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health. 

Petra is the founding Director of the Durham Centre for Sustainable Development Law and Policy (CSDLP).

She is the lead PI on the flagship initiative of the CSDLP: the Just Transitions to a Net Zero World (JusTN0W) project that received investment of £5 million for the next four years, with the aim of becoming financially sustainable thereafter. 

Prior to joining Durham Law School, Petra has held academic positions at the Universities of Dundee, Munich and Göttingen, and worked as Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, and at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, Heidelberg. She is a member of the Bar in Germany. 

She studied at the Universities of Göttingen and Newcastle-upon-Tyne and completed her Dr. iur. under the supervision of Professor Dr Georg Nolte (summa cum laude), awarded with the prize for the best PhD thesis of the University of Göttingen.

Petra worked for the German Foreign Office, Berlin, and for the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, New York. She serves as a member of the editorial boards of the book series Global Energy Law and Policy (Hart publishing) and the Journal Global Energy Law and Sustainability (Edinburgh University Press). She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Petra is a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), of the Specialist Group on Climate Change and a member of Society of Legal Scholars, the Women’s Climate and Energy Law Network, the European Society of International Law and the American Society of International Law. 

Petra is the founder of the International Research Advisory Board (IRAB) that provides needs-based and research-led capacity building for partner countries in the Global South on the basis of trans-disciplinary research and academic partnerships.

Research Expertise

Petra has published widely on liability in international environmental law, climate protection agreements, human rights law, the classification/status of states under international law and on EU citizenship. Her current interdisciplinary research project on Just Transitions to a Net Zero World (JusTN0W) focuses on the role of international law in directing and managing interdisciplinary solutions to accelerate the decarbonisation of economies. She also works on re-thinking and applying legal concepts in the light of attribution science, including health.

She is also working on issues of citizenship and belonging from the perspective of international law, in the context of mitigating the consequences of ‘Brexit’ , as one of the co-editors of the book on EU Citizenship as institutionalised Membership, under contract with Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2025. With Justice Brian Preston and Volker Roeben, Petra is working on a book under contract with Cambridge University Press on Solidarity in international law (forthcoming 2025).

Selected Grants


January 2025-January 2029: Principle Investigator, Just Transtions to a Net Zero World (JusTN0W), SRF funding from Durham University's Strategic Research Fund, total cost £4.6 million

May 2022-March 2023: Principle Investigator, Sustainable Development Research Centre and UNFCCC engagement activities, funded by Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF), (£66,619.21)

September 2021- May 2022: Principal Investigator for Legal Support for Enhancing Ambition under the Paris Agreement, funded by the Rockefeler Foundation & Energy Transition Council (£61,644.75)

2021: Principal Investigator for ESRC IAA funded grant on Building Capacity to Enhancing Compliance with (domestic legal) Implementation of the Paris Agreement (£14,656.64).

2021 Principal Investigator for Durham Climate Conference (2021), funded by the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) (with Prof Colin T. Reid, Prof Nilufer Oral, Hon. Justice Brian Preston, Prof Volker Roeben, Prof Andy Haines, Prof Friederike E.L. Otto, Prof Cinnamon Carlarne), conference on Challenges to a Sustainable Recovery: International Law, Climate Change and Public Health (£3,000).  Additional Funding: GPI and Law School, each £400.

2021: Co-Investigator, The Extractives Hub and International Research Advisory Board, Royal Society of Edinburgh (£12,613).

2019: Principal investigator of Dundee Climate Conference with integrated master class on Elements of a “European”, “International”, “Global” Climate Consensus after Paris?, funded by the SLS, links to media coverage here and here.

2019: Additional Funding from Research and Innovation Services, University of Dundee for Dundee Climate Conference

2019: Research Fellow, funded by the European Commission (£2,000) Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

2018: Co-Investigator, Workshop on Union Citizenship in the time of Brexit, co-funded by the European Parliament and the Morgan Academy, Swansea (£10,000).

2016-2017: Co-Investigator, European Parliament, project on The Feasibility of Associate Union Citizenship post-Brexit (£15,000).


2023: Causation, Attribution and Litigation, presentation at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore, webinar on 'Decoding the IPCC for Lawyers' link to the recording:

2023: Implications of the ECtHR's Jurisprudence for National Law: Germany, presentation at the Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law, webinar on 'The Climate Docket at the European Court of Human Rights', link to the recording:

2022: The Global Stocktake as Process: Inputs and Outputs and Ambition, presentation for 2nd Workshop, Series of workshops co-organised with CIL/NUS and supported by the UNFCCC secretariat, see link here: 

2022: German Climate Summit, Hamburg, ExtremWetterKongress, EinklagbareKlimaziele, Klimafolgenhaftung und Versicherungsrecht, presentation on Kausalität und Zurechnung in Klimawissenschaft und Klimarecht, see link here 

2022: From International Law on Climate Change to Power Purchase Agreements, presentation at Lao PDR 1st Energy Modelling Workshop, with FCDO and Lao PDR government

2022: CIL (NUS) - UNFCCC Worskhop - What did COP26 mean for the Asia Pacific Region and what to expect next? Moderation (Global Stockake) link to the programme:

2022: General Causation, Specific Causation and Attribution in the context of Climate Change (Litigation), Lecture, Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia

2022: Normative Dimensions of Attribution Science and the Law, University of Graz/University of Fribourg

2022: Environmental Law Conference 2022, organised by Student Societies: DUELS (Durham), NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Westminster Environmental Society, Execter Be the Change, KCL Environmental Law & Regulation Society, Cambridge Envirionmental Consulting Society

2021: Distinguished Speakers Address, ACCEL 2021, Sydney Law School see the podcast at

2021: Convener of post-COP26 roundtable (final part of the preparatory Lecture Series on the Road to COP26) with Prof Oral (UN ILC, Director of CIL/NUS) and Prof Voigt (Co-Chair of the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee, Chair of IUCN WCEL): After COP, Before COP

2021: Climate Risk Summit, COP26 Universities Network, Presentation on 'Attributon Sciene in the Law' during the Opening Panel on 'Risks and Attribution of Extremes'

2021: Global Climate and Health Alliance: Care4Climate Webinar, presentation on 'Health and Climate Change as Legal & Economic Issues'

2021: Presentation to Plenary during the SLS Annual Conference, on 'Law Schools in the context of climate change and pandemics'. 

2021: ClimateExpo (COP 26 Universities Network Conference) ‘Defining success at COP26 / CMA 3 and wrapping up outstanding issues of the Paris Rulebook’

2021: The Paris Agreement Rulebook: Adding the Glasgow Chapter to the Katowice Climate Package’, Road to COP 26 Preparatory Lecture Series (co-organised by Nilufer Oral CIL/NUS, Petra Minnerop Durham Law School and Christina Voigt IUCN/WCEL) 

2021: Presentation on 'Regional and Legal Perspectives (focusing on the role of legal and regulatory instruments', part of roundtable on 'Just and Healthy Transition', Academy of Medical Sciences and Royal Society project on climate change and health.

2021: Presentation on 'The Role of International Law on Climate Change and the function of the Meeting of Parties under the Paris Agreement', Conference on 'The Transition to Net-Zero in the North of England', Durham Energy Institute Joint Conference with North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

2020: Guest Lecture, Chapman University Fowler School of Law, USA, 'Climate Change Causation. (Some European) Litigation and the quest for a coherent causal analysis'

2019: Presentation to School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, ‘Climate Change and the Law’

2019: Principal Investigator of conference project and convenor of the 1st interdisciplinary international Dundee Climate Conference with integrated masterclass, ‘Elements of a ‘European’, ‘International’, ‘Global’ Climate Consensus after Paris?’, funded by the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS), Presentation on ‘Elements of a European Consensus under the European Convention on Human Rights’

See the following links for media/press for the Dundee Climate Conference:



2019: Annual Conference of the Society of Legal Scholars, Preston, presentation on ‘The “European Consensus” – a safety net for climate action under the European Convention on Human Rights’

2019: Third Dundee Energy Forum, Dundee, presentation on ‘Making law in CMA decisions: benefits, risks and potential of taking the Paris Agreement forward’

2018: ISSR Forum, School of Social Sciences, Discovery Centre Dundee, Dundee, presentation on ‘International law on nationality, citizenship and continuity’

2018: Swansea University and Morgan Academy, Swansea, co-convenor (with Prof Volker Röben, Prof Jukka Snell) workshop on ‘Union citizenship in the time of Brexit’, presentation on ‘International Law and continuity of EU Citizenship’

2017: European Parliament and Article 50 task force of the European Commission, Brussels, presentation of Research Report on ‘The Feasibility of Associate Union Citizenship post-Brexit’

2005: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Convenor and speaker, international conference on ‘International Environmental Law’, presentation on ‘Elements of Coherency in the Conception of International Environmental Liability Law’, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

2003: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, co-convenor (with Silja Vöneky, Volker Röben, Christian Walter) and speaker, conference on ‘Terrorism as a Challenge for National and International Law: Security versus Liberty?’, presentation on ‘Legal Status of State Sponsors of Terrorism in US Law’

Teaching Areas


In 2024/25: Climate Change Law and Policy, level 3.

Teaching expertise:

Public International Law

International Law on Climate Change

UN Human Rights Law

Global Human Rights Law

Law of the European Union

Legal Research Skills

English Law of Equity and Trusts

Contract Law

Research interests

  • Citizenship Rights in International and EU Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Law on Climate Change
  • Intersection of Science and Climate Law and Policy
  • Public International Law

Esteem Indicators


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Supervision students