Carolyn Abbot

Carolyn Abbot

Professor of Environmental Law

  • University of Manchester, Law
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Personal profile


  • LLB (Manchester)
  • PhD (Manchester)

Formerly Lecturer in Law at Manchester. Before coming to Manchester, Carolyn was a lecturer at the Lancashire Law School, University of Central Lancashire in Preston. She is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Law.

Research interests

  • environmental regulation
  • environmental NGOs and legal expertise
  • public participation
  • regulatory enforcement tools and practices

Current Research Projects:

Carolyn's current research (working with Maria Lee, UCL) focuses on the ways in which environmental groups use and understand law and legal expertise. Recent projects have focused on the role of NGOs 1) in shaping the post-Brexit environmental law landscape and 2) in protecting public participation in environmental decision-making.

She continues to be interested in environmental regulation, with a particular focus on compliance and enforcement. She is currently preparing (with Gary Lynch-Wood) a chapter for an edited collection on transnational environmental crimes, exploring alternative approaches to tackling this complex problem.

Policy Work:

Carolyn’s work on regulatory compliance and enforcement has influenced policy debates at both the UK and EU level. Her report on statutory enforcement notices was part of a Defra consultation document on regulatory justice and she has worked as a consultant on Defra-funded projects on civil sanctions and business perspectives on securing compliance. She was part of a project team looking at the role of criminal penalties in securing environmental compliance in EU Member States. Most recently, Carolyn, as a member of a UN Expert Group, has been advising on a legislative guide to combatting pollution crime.



Carolyn is currently course director for two environmental law modules:

PLAN60441 Concepts in Environmental Law (taught to UG and PG non-law students)

LAWS30102 Environmental Law

She also teaches Contract Law.



Supervision information

Carolyn is willing to supervise both MPhil and PhD students who wish to undertake research in the field of environmental law. She is happy to discuss any research proposals before formal submission.

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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