Josephine van Zeben Joins Notre Dame Law School as Visiting Scholar

Author: Lauren Love


Josephine van Zeben, tutorial fellow in Law at Worcester College, University of Oxford, will spend March 21 through April 15 as a visiting scholar connecting with faculty and students, as well as teaching a two-credit international environmental law course.

“Through the course I am teaching, I hope to show the wide range of perspectives that inform the actions of international actors on common problems, such as climate change,” van Zeben said. “Many of my colleagues at Notre Dame are of course also part of this international debate but the luxury of teaching a short course, particularly one with an international earmark, is to be able to include more of this debate into the curriculum of a national law school.”

Her academic fields of interest are European law, environmental law, regulation in multilevel governance systems, and issues on the border between law, economics and regulation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University College Utrecht in the Netherlands. She also earned her LL.B. from the University of Edinburgh, a LL.M. in European Private Law and a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam and another LL.M. focused on U.S. property law, tort law, local government law, and energy law from Harvard University.

During her visit, van Zeben presented her latest research to the Law School faculty. Her paper, Establishing A Governmental Duty of Care for Climate Change Mitigation: Will Urgenda Turn the Tide?, focuses on the future of climate change liability litigation.

“We welcome Professor van Zeben to our campus and thank her for sharing her perspectives with our students and faculty,” said Bruce Huber, associate professor of law. “It’s wonderful to have her here for an entire month. We’re always trying to develop better relationships with scholars abroad, and her willingness to visit with us is a big win for our faculty, for our students, and we hope for her as well.”

By visiting the Notre Dame Law School, van Zeben said she hopes to workshop her new work on the multi-scalar impact of international environmental law.

“I have been developing new work on this issue in the context of the European Union and it is great to be able to discuss this work with American scholars who bring crucial legal and interdisciplinary approaches to this field of research,” van Zeben said. “Conversely, I hope that some of [the] EU’s regulatory experiments may prove useful for my American colleagues.”