Imperial College London

Zen Makuch

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Reader in Law







Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Director of Food Systems; Sustainable Transitions
International Barrister


Zen Makuch is recognised by key institutions in Europe as, perhaps, the leading international researcher in the specialist fields of implementation of domestic, European and international environmental and resource conservation law. In relation to his research experience, he has litigated, drafted, implemented and supported the enforcement of environment, climate change and natural resource regulations in several countries. Provision of research advisory services to Parliamentarians (including Ministers), select parliamentary committees, political parties and other key influencers/stakeholders are part of his daily working life. The drafting of environment, climate change, coastal zone and conservation regulations, related institutional, implementation and compliance matters form part of his technical expertise and research experience. Selected highlights are as follows:

Thirty years’ experience in the field of legal and policy research and advisory services for impact including more than twenty years as a barrister/technical specialist in the field of environmental law, energy law, natural resources law and international law.

Regulatory affairs and legal advice for 14 Ministers to date including on COVID-19 national and international legal matters. Compliance evaluation and related occasional litigation file work for the European Commission and other clients in relation to four sectors of legislation covering three States to date.

Project Legal Team Research Leader on environment, energy, natural resource and international law projects valued at over £45 Million.
Multi-country experience of drafting environment, energy, water and other natural resource sector legislation (125 legislative instruments designed and approved by parliaments and legislative assemblies to date).

Technical legal researcher and adviser for 78 national and sub-national governments world-wide, the European Commission, World Bank, FAO, OECD, WTO, NGOs and sustainability-oriented transnational corporations.

Extensive legal experience on a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious environmental and conservation matters, more recently including environment and health-related nuisance actions as well as an increasing number of Aarhus

Convention cases and research on access to environmental information, public participation and access to justice.

200 publications including monographs and articles in leading journals
Multiple-award winning educator and public speaker


2009- Director of Food Systems (2016- ) addressing climate change, agriculture and fisheries supply chains; Head of Department (2011-17), Director, Centre for Environmental Policy, responsible for Imperial College London’s largest interdisciplinary environmental sciences and energy research and education body (Ranked #8 in the world in the QS University environmental science rankings). Department features, variously, 100 Academic/Research Staff, 56 Postgraduate Researchers and 195 Master’s Degree candidates, Member: Faculty Management Committee (2010-17); Faculty Research Committee (2009- ); Advisory Board, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment (2014- ); Advisory Board, Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology (2009- ). Director of Sustainable Transitions Research Group (2009- ); Member of Environmental Quality, Environmental Security & Governance, Agriculture for Impact and Energy Policy Research Groups; Convenor/Director Global Environmental Change and Policy (MSc)(2009- ) Programme (concentrations in climate change, marine and land-based environmental resources). Director, (new) MSc in sustainable investment and management.

1991-present Interdisciplinary Technical Expert, Specialist in environmental resource sustainability, fisheries management, environmental protection, nature conservation in a range of national jurisdictions, the European Union and at the international level. International research spanning 68 nations on four continents to date. Academic Staff Member: Marine Resources Assessment Group (1999-2010); Renewable Resources Assessment Group (1999-2010). Broad range of interdisciplinary environmental research and advice at the sub-national, national, EU and international levels. Considerable experience in drafting law, policy and interdisciplinary implementation frameworks for environmental sustainability, having created more than 122 such documents. Produced several bilateral/multilateral fisheries agreements. Co-drafter, Vigo Declaration on Deep Sea Fisheries. Led legal/regulatory work establishing Marine Stewardship Council. Principal Drafter, EU Directive on Climate Change Adaptation. Environmental resource institutional/governance advisory work for European Union - DG External Affairs, DG Development, DG Research, DG Environment, DG Clima, DG Marine Resources and Fisheries, DfID, UNCTAD, UNIDO, World Bank, WTO, Governments of Canada & Ontario.

2011-2012 Rector’s Award for Outstanding Teaching Contribution (Imperial College London), the only recipient of three such awards in the history of the University (2003 and 2005 were the other years) (also 2015 President’s Award for Teaching; 2017 Faculty Education Award).

2011-present UK Representative, Forum of International Experts on Climate Change (Advisors to European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action).

2004-2010 Court and Senate, Member, Imperial College London, University of London.

2003-present Sessional Professor, Environmental Protection, Waste Management, Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, Law of the Sea, Environmental Governance, Economics of State Aids and Regulation, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Competition Policy and Regulation University of Leuven, Faculty of Law, Belgium / University of Malta, Masters programmes.

1993-2012 Ministerial Adviser, various Ministers/Secretaries of State across 14 countries with particular reference to national, European and international environmental protection matters.

1999-2010 Director, IC Environment Programme, a modest set of experiential research and practical activities (three academic staff members, one staff administrator) specialising in the provision of public interest advice and assistance to local, regional, national and international NGOs and Governments on environmental and fisheries resources and sustainability matters. The Programme focused upon the development of future leaders in environmental science and policy advocacy in progressive stakeholder bodies with many successful graduates now employed in this field.

1996-2010 Member, Imperial College Renewable Resources Assessment Group, an interdisciplinary fisheries and environmental resources research group initially led by Sir John Beddington.

1996-2010 Associate, Marine Resources Assessment Group, performing a range of UK, EU and international research projects on stock assessment, marine resource conservation and their regulatory and policy requirements.

2004-2005 Teaching Fellow for Innovation, titled appointment to the Senate awarded to Imperial College, University of London as its most outstanding academic in this field.

2005 Advisor, Cabinet Office, 10 Downing Street, Environment and Energy Governance and Regulatory Innovation.

2004-5 Professor (p/t), Environmental Protection and Law, Environmental Protection and Consumer Policy, University of Leuven, Faculty of Law, Belgium.

2004-2009 Chair, Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Imperial College, University of London, Comparative Law and Policy Seminar Series.

2003- 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award, Imperial College, University of London, awarded to outstanding lecturer.

2001 Advisor, Members of the Royal Family, international environmental protection and sustainability matters pertaining to fisheries and oceans (including Marine Stewardship Council).

2001 Senior Advisor, Unilever and WWF, on legal and policy elements of the Marine Stewardship Council.

2001 Reader, DEST/CEP/ICCET, Imperial College, University of London.

2000-2003 Specialist Advisor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Westminster (advisory services on domestic and international environment and nature conservation matters).

2000-2001 International Expert, UN-sponsored WHAT Fisheries Commission (seven member Commission comprised of world’s leading international experts in fisheries management matters, WHAT Chair – Former UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar).

1999-2000 British Association for the Advancement of Science, Lecturer in Science and Society for the Millennium, T H Huxley School, University of London (title conferred upon winning national competition among nominees from all UK universities as the UK’s leading social science researcher and lecturer)(Award presented by her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Anne). A particular focal point was leading work on environmental resources and technology innovation.

1999-2002 Board Member, Syngenta (formerly AstraZeneca), Ethics Committee.

1997-1998 Specialist Advisor, House of Lords Committee on the European Communities, Fisheries Agreements (Managed selection, cross-examination, presentation of evidence and House of Lords Reports including report drafting duties).

1996-present Referee: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Sustainability, Journal of Sustainable Development, Nature, European Journal of International Law, European Law Journal, Science, European Yearbook of Comparative Government and Public Administration, Journal of World Trade, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, European Environmental Law Review, Journal of Marine and Coastal Zone Management, Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, Nature Climate Change, Journal of International Comparative Law, Journal of Water Law, Water Resource Management, International Fisheries Law Review, European Environmental Law Review.

1996-present Invited Lectures: Regular environmental resources, sustainability, law lectures are given at Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, King’s College London and a range of Universities worldwide.

1995-2001 Lecturer, T H Huxley School, Imperial College; Member, EPMG. Associate, Marine Resources Co-ordinator of ICCET environmental courses (1999- ). Director, Business & Regulation Course (1996-2001). Director, Public Policy and Ethics Course (1996-2001). Member of Rector’s Discipline Review Panel (2000- ). Chairman of Publicity and Commercial Promotions Committee (1996- ). Coordinator of Environmental Law and Policy Seminar Series (1999-2010).

1994-present Media Expert, Domestic, European Union and international environment/sustainability matters, fisheries, marine conservation, Law of the Sea, Arctic law, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (television & radio appearances).

1994-present External Examiner, Law Faculties/Schools, Cambridge University, Oxford University, School of Oriental and African Studies, College of Europe, University of Leuven, University of London, Cardiff University, Selected Masters/PhD Candidates.

1994-1995 Lecturer, University of Hull, UK. Director, Masters in Environment and Law. Lecturer: Law of the Sea, Coastal Zone Management, International Law. Member, Research Studies Committee. PhD supervisor. Advisor, UN Convention on Straddling and Highly Migratory Stocks (negotiations); Co-drafter, Black Sea Treaty and its implementation.

1994-1995 Lecturer in International Economics and Regulation (p/t), SOAS, University of London. Lecturer on Master of Laws in International Economic Law and Policy.

1993-1995 Associate, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, Barrister. Research file work for public interest funders. Law of the Sea, International Law.

1992-1994 Member, Royal Commission on Land-Use Planning (Committee on Development).

1991-1993 Associate, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (Research/advisory services).

1991-1992 Advisor in selected GATT, NAFTA, NACEC, UN multilateral treaty negotiations. Received an Award from the Prime Minister in recognition of contribution to United Nations Conference on Environment and Development negotiations.

1991-1992 Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency, participated in design and implementation of first “Sustainable Livelihoods” strategy for developing countries.

1991-1994 Board Member, Ontario Waste Reduction Advisory Committee (Responsible for advice on community development and waste management technical/policy matters).

1990-1993 Barrister and Solicitor, CELA, (Barrister and Solicitor with active environmental public interest litigation practice, which also included representation of First Nations, addressed forests, fisheries, Great Lakes matters).

1990.1993 Guest Lecturer, University of Toronto, Masters environmental courses.

1989-1990 Articling, Lawyer, Goodman & Goodman. (Environment, property, commercial).

1986.1989 Research Associate, Osgoode Hall Law School with Prof Harry Glasbeek, labour policy and regulation (also w/ Prof Harry Arthurs), corporate social responsibility, Prof Graham Parker, public health policy and regulation.

Selected Publications

Makuch Z, Georgieva S, Oraee-Mirzamani, B “Innovative Regulatory and Financial Parameters for Advancing Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies” (Fordham Environmental Law Review, Fall, 2020) Makuch - CCS Regulatory and Financial Parameters 24 12 2020

Hopkins Alfaro D, Makuch Z, Makuch K, 2019, Analysing trade-offs in management decision-making between Ecosystem services, Biodiversity conservation, and Commodity production in Peruvian Amazon National Reserve Environment and Ecosystem Science, Environment and Ecosystem Science, Vol: 3, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2521-0483

Hopkins Alfaro D, Makuch K, Makuch Z, 2019, Idoneidad del establecimiento del área natural protegida del mar pacífico tropical. suitability of the establishment of the protected natural area of the tropical Pacific sea, Vox Juris, Vol: 37, Pages: 25-34, ISSN: 2521-5280

Bonn, A., Bowser, A., Hecker, S., Haclay, M., and Makuch, Z., Innovation in Open Science (University of London Press, 2018)

Makuch, Z., with Voigt, C., Environmental Regulation and The Courts (Edward Elgar Publishers)(2018)

Makuch, Z. with Fowler, R., Richardson, B and Walmsley, R. “The Foundations for Environmental Law: Goals, Objects and Principles” (APEEL Technical Discussion Paper, 2016)

Makuch, Z. and Oraee-Mirzamani, B., Cockerill, T., Makuch, Z., “Quantification of Risks Associated with the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide” Energy Procedia, (Elsevier)(2016)

Makuch, Z. with Ristic, B., Madani, K., “The Water Footprint of Data Centres” Sustainability 7(8) (MDPI, Switzerland)(2015)

Makuch, Z., with Fradera, R., Slawson, D., Gosling, L., Lakeman-Fraser, P., et al “Exploring the Nexus through Citizen Science” (ESRC, UK)(2015).

Makuch, Z., with Bassi, S., Boyd, R., Buckle, S., Fennell, P., Mac Dowell, N. and Staffell. I. “Bridging the Gap: Improving the Economic and Policy Framework for Carbon Capture and Storage in the European Union” (GRI-LSE, London)(2015)

Makuch, Z. with Karyampa, M “The Law and Practice of Air Quality Management” in Makuch, K and Pereira, R. Environmental and Energy Law (Wiley Blackwell Publishing)(2012)

Makuch, Z. with Glatzel, K and Wright, H “Technology Innovation and the Law – Climate Change Adaptation Technologies” in Makuch, K and Pereira, R. Environmental and Energy Law (Wiley Blackwell Publishing)(2012)

Makuch Z, Oraee-Mirzamani N “Corporate Environmental Disclosure Law, Fiduciary Duties and the Aarhus Convention”, European Energy and Environmental Law Review (2011)



Makuch Z, Georgieva S, Oraee-Mirzamani B, 2020, Innovative regulatory and financial parameters for advancing carbon capture and storage technologies, Fordham Environmental Law Review, Vol:32, ISSN:1079-6657, Pages:1-16

Makuch Z, 2019, Legislative Interpretation and Guidance on the New Waste Management Regime of the European Union, Fordham Environmental Law Review, ISSN:1079-6657

Makuch Z, Georgieva S, Oraee-Mirzamani B, 2019, On the need for synergistic regulatory and financial parameters for carbon capture and storage technology, Transnational Environmental Law, ISSN:2047-1025


Makuch Z, 2019, Regulating Insurance for Climate Change Resilient Food Systems, Edward Elgar

Voigt C, Makuch Z, 2018, Courts and the Environment, Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN:9781788114677

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