KomUR − Network of Competence on Future Challenges of Environmental Law

(Kompetenznetzwerk „Zukunftsherausforderungen des Umweltrechts“)


10/2019 − 12/2022


The „Network of Competence on Future Challenges of Environmental Law“ (KomUR) is a collaborative project of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and six German Universities funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. This project aims to enhance networking of German environmental law research within the country and, in particular, in the European and international community. It provides funding for 14 PhDs and diverse networking activities including international workshops, conferences, publications and short term research visits to international network partners. The project is coordinated by UFZ-Department for Environmental & Planning Law and chaired by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Köck und Dr. Moritz Reese; further partners of KomUR are the Universities of Bonn (Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Durner), Berlin (FU, Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess), Bremen (Prof. Dr. Claudio Franzius), Leipzig (Prof. Dr. Kurt Faßbender), Münster (Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlacke) and Oldenburg (Prof. Dr. Pascal Cancik). Moreover, the network is supported by 15 distinguished international competence partners (listed below). The project is part of the federal research program „Forschung für Nachhaltigkeit –  FONA³.

In substance the network is dedicated to further developing environmental law towards the objectives and requirements of sustainability with a focus on the major environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and degradation of water, soil and natural resources. In these regards the Network will undertake comparative research on international, European and national environmental law. Comparative studies will be aimed at identifying most effective and innovative regulatory approaches and discuss transferability of such instruments. Key aspects of this research concern, i.a.

  • Legal reception of long term environmental sustainability objectives in combination with new approaches of implementation planning and adaptive governance regimes,
  • Analysis of implementation gaps and factors of better enforcement in both the executive and judicial branch,
  • Acknowledgement, scope and effectiveness of individual sustainability and environmental rights as well as rights of nature,
  • Role and improvement of transparency, participation and legal protection (Aarhus pillars),
  • How law deals with uncertainty, risk and projections,
  • Digitalization as both a threat and opportunity for environmental protection,
  • Policy integration according to Article 11 TEU with a particular focus on agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy,
  • Development of international environmental conventions and institutions and approaches for fundamental revision, e.g. in the sense of the “Global Pact for the Environment“ initiative,
  • Liability and compensation for transboundary environmental damage,
  • Integration of environmental sustainability objectives/requirements into international trade regimes,
  • Forms and perspectives of transnational environmental governance, norms and regulation as well as diffusion of environmental laws.

For further information please contact our project coordinator: Dr. Elisabeth V. Henn.


Project Partners

  • Prof. Dr. Pascale Cancik, Universität Osnabrück
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess, Freie Universität Berlin,
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Durner, Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Kurt Faßbender, Universität Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Claudio Franzius, Universität Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlacke, Universität Münster

International Competence Partners (complimentary)

  • Prof. Dr. Helle Tegner Anker, Copenhagen Universitet, Dänemark
  • Prof. Dr. Alexandra Aragao, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
  • Prof. Dr. Chris Backes, Utrecht Universiteit, Niederlande
  • Prof. Dr. Charles-Hubert Born, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgien
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Bosselmann, University of Auckland, Neuseeland
  • Prof. Dr. Jan Darpö, Uppsala Universitet, Schweden
  • Prof. Dr. Jerzy Jendroska, Opole Uniwersytet, Polen
  • Prof. Dr. Sandrine Maljean-Dubois, Université Aix-Marseille, Frankreich
  • Prof. Dr. Massimiliano Montini, Univerità di Siena, Italien
  • Prof. Carina Costa de Oliveira, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilien
  • Prof. Dr. Tianbao Qin, Wuhan University, China
  • Prof. Dr. Marleen von Rijswick, Utrecht Universiteit, Niederlande
  • Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Squintani, Universiteit Groningen, Niederlande
  • Prof. Dr. Bernard Vanheusden, Universität Hasselt, Belgien
  • Prof. Dr. Jorge Vinuales, University of Cambridge, UK