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Vernon Rive – Lead researcher

VernonRive-200x300Vernon Rive joined the School of Law at AUT University Law School as a Senior Lecturer in 2009 after over 14 years of private practice, latterly as a partner in the Environmental/Resource Management team at one of New Zealand’s leading national commercial law firms Chapman Tripp. In 2009, he was recognised as a leading lawyer (energy and natural resources) by Chambers Global.

Since commencing a career as a full time legal academic in 2009, his research activities have focused on three key areas of interest: climate change law, international environmental law and New Zealand environmental law. These research interests align with his teaching commitments which include lecturing in International Environmental Law and Resource Management Law as elective courses for 3rd and 4th year law students, as well as a compulsory course in Judicial Review to second-year law students.

As sole or co-author, Vernon contributed four chapters to the 2011 LexisNexis book Climate Change Law and Policy in New Zealand, which drew together a group of leading legal and policy researchers with established reputations as commentators on climate change law and policy. His chapters on New Zealand Climate Change Regulation and Adaptation were the first time that a comprehensive critical analysis of New Zealand law and its underlying policy (tracing and commenting on developments in this area since 1988) had been undertaken.

As a result of contacts made during the course of the Climate Change Law and Policy research, Vernon was asked to attend a number of invite-only roundtables on climate change law and policy hosted by the Victoria University Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, and to give a number of conference presentations including at the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s Annual Conference in Wellington in October 2010.

Vernon’s research in this area was also instrumental in securing United Nations accreditation to attend the UN COP17 Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa in December 2011, where he was one of the very small number of New Zealanders commenting on the historic negotiations. He undertook a similar role in June 2012 at the UN ‘Rio+20’ Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he had the opportunity of observing proceedings covering a wide range of international law and policy.

In September 2011, Vernon contributed two chapters as sole author and one as lead author to a new edition of New Zealand’s leading environmental law textbook Environmental and Resource Management Law (LexisNexis, 2011). This text – now in its 3rd edition – has an established reputation as a source of legal commentary on a wide range of New Zealand environmental/resource management laws, with a group of authors who include leading practitioners, academics and a senior member of the judiciary. His publishing output, alongside his editorship of the Resource Management Bulletin led, in February 2012, to an invitation to author a new title of the Laws of New Zealand on Climate Change Law.

Vernon is also a practicing barrister – see www.vernonrive.co.nz and hosts an environmental law blog www.point-source.co.nz.