College of Law Roundtable for MENA Scholars Discusses

College of Law Roundtable for MENA Scholars Discusses Strengthening Environmental Legal Education and Practice

18 Apr 2021

UNEP and ASSELLMU join discussions on the role of law and policy educators in addressing environmental issues in MENA region

College of Law Roundtable for MENA Scholars Discusses Strengthening Environmental Legal Education and Practice

The College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) held a MENA Environmental Law and Policy Scholars Roundtable on April 13, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Association for Environmental Law Lecturers in Middle East and North African Universities (ASSELLMU). 

The event was a high-level opportunity for environmental law and policy educators and scholars in the MENA region to exchange knowledge and experiences with the aim of strengthening the teaching of environmental law. Discussions explored the current landscape and opportunities for promoting national awareness of and education concerning environmental issues. The issues addressed at the roundtable ranged from biodiversity loss and climate change to the safe management of hazardous chemicals and wastes, as well as many others.

The College of Law was represented at the roundtable by Dr. Susan L. Karamanian, dean of the College of Law at HBKU, and Dr. Damilola S. Olawuyi (SAN), associate professor, and the founding chair of ASSELLMU. They joined speakers and participants in sharing knowledge and best practices from different initiatives related to teaching environmental law across the MENA region. The exchanges identified progress made so far, and innovative approaches that could inform the rapid development of courses and programs that are responsive to local needs. 

The roundtable discussion featured Dr. Aphrodite Smagadi, legal officer, Law Division, UNEP, Kenya; Dr. Riyad Fahkri, Hassan 1st University, Settat, Morocco; Dr. Radwa Salah Elsaman, assistant professor, Cairo University, Egypt; Mr. Qaraman Hasan, law lecturer, University of Raparin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq; Ms. Christina Abi Haidar, environmental lawyer, Lebanon; and Dr. Samira Idllalène, professor, Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco. 

Speaking after the event, Dr. Karamanian said: “Legal educators and scholars are well-positioned to play a meaningful role in shaping the legislative framework to regulate the responses of governments to climate change. They can identify relevant environmental issues and ensure that the laws are understood and implemented. The roundtable continued the dialogue that has already been initiated through ASSELLMU on educating to implement change. Our speakers highlighted innovative educational approaches and practices. Through Dr. Olawuyi’s interventions, we shared our international and comparative approach to environmental law and linked it to supporting Qatar’s environmental strategies and targets. The roundtable brought in fresh perspectives that all participants agreed can improve practice.”  

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