2014 International Environmental Law Award Recipient – Professor Philip Allott

The Center for International Environmental Law is honored to announce the recipient of its 2014 International Environmental Law Award: Professor Philip Allott. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to solving environmental problems through international law and institutions.

As CIEL celebrates its 25th anniversary, it is particularly appropriate to honor Professor Allott, whose acclaimed essay International Law and International Revolution: Reconceiving the World was written in the year of our founding. Since its publication, Professor Allott’s essay has been read and shared by lawyers around the world – and it has informed the work of a generation of CIEL interns and attorneys. His words inspire young and seasoned lawyers and remind us what is achievable through the power of international law if we commit ourselves to reshape it.

In that slender volume, Professor Allott set forth a searing indictment of the state of international law and international society. Far more importantly, however, he offered an erudite history of international law from Francisco Suarez to the modern era which documented not only how international society reached its current form but also how this form is neither inevitable nor inescapable. In demonstrating that international society and international law are not discovered realities but products of the human mind, Professor Allott’s work makes a compelling case that we can and must change them; that we can reconceive the world to be more just, more sustainable, and more consistent with human survival and prospering.

He has continued to build on this body of work for the ensuing quarter century and, in the process, made a profound contribution to legal thinking, legal advocacy and the role of both in achieving social justice. His major work Eunomia. New Order for a New World (1990/2001) proposes a new general theory of International Society and International Law. It embodies a new philosophy of Social Idealism based on ideas, as the mind-made substance of human reality and ideals as the energizing force of human self-perfecting.

Professor Allott taught in the Law Faculty of Cambridge University from 1976 until he retired as Emeritus Professor of International Public Law in 2004. He continues to research and publish actively and has served as a visiting professor at many law schools. Prior to his teaching career, Professor Allott served the UK as a Legal Adviser in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of the Diplomatic Service.  He was the Legal Adviser of the British Military Government in Berlin, Assistant Agent for the United Kingdom in proceedings in the International Court of Justice, an Alternate Representative in the UK Delegation to the UN Law of the Sea Conference, and a member of a group of academic international lawyers advising the then Head of the Legal Service of the European Commission.  When the UK first joined the European Communities, he was the first Legal Counsellor in the UK Permanent Representation to the European Communities in Brussels.