Gerard Kelly


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    United Kingdom

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Research Statement

Dr Gerard Kelly is a Lecturer in Law at Queen's University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

His research interests lie broadly in the fields of environmental and planning law, particularly climate governance. Gerard's doctoral research evaluated the contribution of linkage to the governance of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.

Current research projects include:

1. Enhancing Climate Governance: This research challenges the orthodoxy of pursuing global climate governance through multilateral treaty-making. Instead, Gerard has defined and advanced institutional arrangements to foster cross-scale complementarity between diverse climate governance initiatives.

2. Brexit: Future EU-UK Climate Engagement: This research project involves assessing the evolving post-Brexit relationship between the EU and UK in the field of cliamte law. In particular, it involves normative and doctrinal research.

Gerard's work has been published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals. In 2018, he was approved as a member of the Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA), an association of barristers specialising in planning, environment, compulsory purchase and other aspects of local government and administrative law. Gerard's expertise and research is also recognised internationally. In 2019, he was nominated as a member of the IUCN's World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) by Justice Antonio Benjamin of the High Court of Brazil and he is a member of the Commission's Climate Change Specialist Group. The WCEL is a network of experts from across the world and serves as the principal source of technical legal advice to the IUCN, its members, and collaborating institutions on all aspects of environmental law. In 2015, Gerard was awarded a League of European Research Universities (LERU) Visiting Scholarship at the University of Barcelona. For his contribution to leadership in learning and teaching, Gerard has been recognised as a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

He welcomes media enquiries across his range of expertise and, given his practice experience as an attorney, on matters pertaining generally to American law.


Gerard's teaching experience extends across a range of foundations of legal knowledge core modules including equity, tort law and contract law and, particularly at postgraduate level, more specialised fields including environmental law and financial law.
He is passionate and active in promoting widening diversity initiatives and, in particular, Gerard has supported the work of the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. At Queen's, Gerard is module coordinator of Equity, a core module on the School's undergraduate LLB programme (with 225+ students). In addition, he has developed a specialised postgraduate module in the field of Corporate Environmental Law. He also convenes and teaches elective modules on the School's undergraduate and postgraduate curricula including Financial Services Law (UG) and International Financial Law (PGT).
Gerard has successfully supervised doctoral research in the sphere of corporate law welcomes potential PhD applicants in his fields of research interest with a particular focus on climate governance.


Gerard graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a First Class LLB (Hons) before later completing the BCL at the University of Oxford with Distinction. After being admitted to the New York State Bar and practising as a corporate attorney, Gerard subsequently taught law in England and carried out research for his PhD at University College London. In addition, he completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education with Distinction and holds a Diploma of Legal Medicine, also with Distinction, from the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.

In addition to his admission to the New York State Bar, Gerard is also admitted to the US Supreme Court Bar and as a barrister in Ireland, England & Wales, and Northern Ireland.

His practice experience includes representing issuers, underwriters and dealers in connection with international securities offerings, including financial restructuring transactions, high yield debt offerings and London-listed equity offerings.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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