Professor Klaus Bosselmann

1st and 2nd State Examination in Law (Germany), Dr iur (FU Berlin)

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Klaus Bosselmann has been teaching in the areas of public international law, European law, global environmental law and governance, and environmental constitutionalism. His research focus is on conceptual, international and comparative dimensions of environmental law and governance. He is particularly interested in ecological approaches to law and governance.

Klaus has been the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law since its establishment in 1999. He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Ethics Specalist Group, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA),  Co-Chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), and executive member of several other professional networks including Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand (SANZ) and the New Zealand Centre of Global Studies (NZCGS). Klaus has authored or edited 30 books on environmental law and political ecology, a number of which have been translated into multiple languages; his articles appeared in many of the world’s leading law journals. For his pioneering work on ecological law, he has received numerous awards including the Inaugural Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law and the 2021 Carlowitz Sustainability Award.

Research | Current

  • Environmental constitutionalism
  • International and Comparative Environmental Law
  • NZ constitutional development
  • Human rights and the environment

Teaching | Current

Global Environmental Law (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Law and Society  

Legal Foundations

Global Challenges-Sustainable Futures



Postgraduate supervision

My past and current PhD students have been working in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, environmental governance and aspects of ecological legal theory and international jurisprudence. Prospective PhD students are advised that I am primarily interested in supervising research in the following areas: global environmental law and governance, environmental constitutionalism, ecological legal theory and methodology of environmental law. If you are interested in PhD research, please contact me per email with your short CV and brief outline of your idea. I will then discuss your research idea and guide you through the further process.  

Areas of expertise

Environmental Law, Global Environmental Law and Governance, Constitutionalism, Legal Theory

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Bosselmann, K. (2017). The Next Step: Earth trusteeship. Paper presented at Seventh Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Nature, UN Headquarters New York. 21 April - 21 April 2017. Related URL.
  • Bosselmann, K. (2017). Governing the global commons: The ‘planetary boundaries’ approach. Policy Quarterly, 13 (1), 37-42. 10.26686/pq.v13i1.4648
  • Bosselmann, K. (2017). The imperative of ecological integrity: Conceptualising a fundamental legal norm for a new 'world system' in the Anthropocene. In Kotzé L (Ed.) Environmental law and governance for the Anthropocene (pp. 241-265). Oxford, UK: Hart Publishing.
  • Bosselmann K (2017). The principle of sustainability: Transforming law and governance (2nd). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Pages: 263.
  • Magalhaes, P., Steffen, W., Bosselmann, K., Aragao, A., & Soromenho-Marques, V. (Eds.) (2016). The Safe Operating Space Treaty: A new approach to managing our use of the Earth system. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pages: 319. Related URL.
  • Bosselmann, K. (2016). Conclusion: Governing the commons - can states be trustees?. In L. Westra, J. Gray, D'Aloia A (Eds.) The common good and ecological integrity: Human rights and the support of life (pp. 267-283). Routledge.
  • Bosselmann, K. (2015). Earth governance: Trusteeship of the global commons. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Pages: 300. 10.4337/9781783477821
  • Bosselmann, K. (2015). National Strategies for Sustainability: Options for New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law University of Auckland. Pages: 183. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

1-11 SHORT STREET - Bldg 810
Level 7, Room 735
New Zealand

Web links