News & Updates

Panel Discussion: Climate Justice

Panel discussion Peters Lock Climate

On 25 April 2024, Prof. Dr Birgit Peters will take part in the panel discussion: Climate Justice - climate protection in the field of tension between fundamental and human rights at the Regional Representation of the EU in Bonn. You can find more information about the discussion on the flyer. (Panel discussion will be in German)

Current Lecture Online from Prof. Dr. Peters

Prof. Dr. Peters gave a lecture on Biodiversity Conservation in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam. You can find the full lecture on the Youtube channel: European, International and Transformative Law.

Lecture series on the Future of Law, Nature and Society

Lecture series, Epiney, 07.02.2024


In February, we welcome Prof. Dr. Astrid Epiney, Professor of European Law, International Law and Public Law and Rector of the University of Freiburg.

Her topic: "Legal Protection in Environmental Law" (Please be aware that the lecture will be in German)

The scope of judicial legal protection - in particular judicial access - in environmental law has been an issue in national, European and international law for many years. The latter has developed significantly as a result of the ratification of the so-called Aarhus Convention by the EU and its member states, and it contains numerous guidelines for the scope of legal protection at national level. In this context, the case law of the ECJ plays a decisive role. The lecture discusses the fundamentals of the EU legal requirements for legal protection in the Member States and analyses in detail the widely ramified case law of the ECJ, with a view to a dogmatic systematisation of the questions arising here

When : 07.02.2024

From : 17:00-19:00

Where : HS 2, Building B

Invitation to Prof. Dr. Birgit Peters's Inaugural Lecture

Peters, Friday, inaugural lecture


As she started at the university during the pandemic (October 2020), there was no opportunity, but now we cordially invite you to the inaugural lecture of Prof. Dr. Birgit Peters, LL.M. (London)

The topic for Prof. Peters' inaugural lecture will be on "Law and Nature? Questions for a nature-compatible law." (Please note this lecture will be in German)

Prof. Dr. Antje von Ungern-Sternberg, M.A., Dean of Faculty V, will open the event. 

There will be refreshments afterwards in B22.

When : 26.01.2024

From : 16:00 c.t.

Where: HS 2, Building B

Lecture series on the Future of Law, Nature and Society

Calliess, Mittwoch, Zoom, Vorlesung

We are very pleased to welcome Prof. Christian Calliess LL.M. (Eur), Professor of Public Law, in particular Environmental Law and European Law at Freie Universität Berlin, on 24.01.2024 at 17h (c.t.) in our lecture series "The Future of Nature and Society: Policies, Governance Rules" with a lecture on the highly topical subject of "Intertemporal Environmental Protection through Law".


The lecture starts with an analysis of the state objective of environmental protection pursuant to Article 20a of the Basic Law and the state's explicitly stated duty to protect the natural foundations of life, also in responsibility for future generations. The interfaces with the principle of sustainability, the debt brake of the financial constitution and the new construct of the Federal Constitutional Court of "intertemporal safeguarding of freedom" are then examined. According to the thesis, Article 20a of the Basic Law formulates an "ecological debt brake".

The fundamental rights dimension of the topic is then addressed. Duties to protect compete here with the Federal Constitutional Court's new construct of "intertemporal safeguarding of freedom" and "interference-like prior effect". In this respect, open questions and objections are addressed and the transferability of climate protection to other environmental law constellations, such as the protection of biodiversity, is discussed.
Finally, the procedural dimension of the topic is examined: Are there constitutional requirements for intertemporal environmental protection through procedures? What added value would this have and how can it be guaranteed? In this respect, it is about the governance of intergenerational environmental policy "over time".

The lecture will take place online. Please be aware this lecture will be held in German. If you are interested, please register at the following link:


Lecture series on the Future of Law, Nature and Society

Lecture series, Saurer, 10.01.24


We will continue our lecture series in January. Our next guest lecturer is Prof. Dr. Johannes Saurer from the University of Tübingen. He is Professor of Public Law, Environmental Law, Infrastructure Law and Comparative Law.

He will give a lecture on the topic "The Time Factor in Environmental Law" (Please be aware that the lecture will be held in German)

When : 10.01.2024

From : 17:00-19:00

Where : HS 2, Building B

Lecture series on the Future of Law, Nature and Society

Lecture series, von Landenberg-Roberg


This winter semester we will be organising a series of lectures with lecturers who are experts in their field.

The first guest lecture is by Dr Michael von Landenberg-Roberg, from the Humbolt University in Berlin.

His lecture: ' Securing acceptance for the ecological transformation as a legal task'

"Broad public acceptance for climate policy measures is one of the basic conditions for a successful transformation process towards climate neutrality in a democracy. Successful climate policy is inconceivable in the long term without the democratic majority articulating itself in periodic elections. However, acceptance is a fleeting resource. The recent debate on the Building Energy Act has once again impressively demonstrated this. As transformation law, however, climate law cannot remain neutral when it comes to the acceptance of climate policy measures. Rather, it must itself make a contribution to their promotion. Against this backdrop, Michael von Landenberg-Roberg's lecture addresses the question of how climate law can contribute to ensuring acceptance. To this end, he analyses the results of social science and environmental psychology acceptance research and examines their implications for the design of climate law."

When : 06.12.2023, from 17:00-19:00, Where : HS 2

(Please be aware the lecture will be in German)

Lunch talk with Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger

Lunchtalk, ambassador


It is an honour to have Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger with us on 04.12.2023.

Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger has been a judge at the General Court of the European Union (General Court) since 2022. Previously, she was the Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations Office at Geneva and, in this capacity, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2020. In the lunch talk, Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger will give an insight into her work as a judge as well as shed light on the different challenges between this and her career as a professional diplomat.

When : 04.12.2023, from12:00-14:00
Where : E 51

The lunch talk is organised by the chair of Prof. Birgit Peters and Dr. Markus Beham.

New Publication


Prof. Dr. Peters has published a new book together with Prof. Dr. Lohse and other authors. The book entitled "Sustainability through Participation? Perspectives from National, European and International Law." is now available.  The book is part of the series Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development. It focuses on the relationship between sustainability and public participation and legal issues within these fields. For more information, please visit the publisher's website.

Guest lecturer for WiSe23/24

Bild Man


Markus P. Beham is a private lecturer in public law, international law, European law and foundations of law at the University of Passau and teaches at the Institute for European, International and Comparative Law at the University of Vienna.

His research focuses on public law in its European and international dimensions and on alternative dispute resolution. He is editor of the journal 'Nachhaltigkeitsrecht'.

Excursion to ECHR on 27.09.23

Court room


Prof. Dr. Peters and part of her team will be travelling to the hearing of the first climate case at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Duarte Agostinho and others, on 27.09.

If you would like to come along, please write an email to Lilian Lee Hoffmann from Team Peters.

Departure 05:00h from Trier. Returning approx. 19:00h possibly earlier, on the same day.

Transport is free, bring your own provisions.

International Symposium Law and Nature - Towards a New Legal Approach

flyer symposium information
flyer symposium information

This Symposium is taking place on 21st to the 22nd of September 2023 at the University of Mannheim.

This international symposium is organised in cooperation with Prof. Nils Schaks from the University of Mannheim and sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation.
It collects the contributions of German and international experts on the question of how law must be designed to be compatible with nature without curtailing fundamental freedoms and democratic co-determination.


Visit to ECHR

Gruppen bild

Prof. Peters' Chair was fortunate to be able to attend the ECHR hearing on 29 March 2023 with some staff and students as spectators.

Once there, the crowd to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was already enormous. The reason? The first two climate change cases were being heard at the Court. Due to the particular relevance of the issues raised, the appeal was heard by the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.

KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz is an association supported by Greenpeace, consisting of 2038 exclusively female members. The KlimaSeniorinnen claim before the ECHR that as an older, female population group they are particularly affected by the consequences of global warming and assert their rights under Article 2 of the ECHR in this regard.

The complaint of the KlimaSeniorinnen contains some important questions concerning both the admissibility and the merits of climate change cases, which will enable the ECHR to make a landmark decision in this regard.

The very assignment of the Swiss KlimaSeniorinnen case to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR shows the explosive nature of the questions to be answered. All parties have identified the states as responsible actors in the fight against climate change - but the judicial reviewability of the state measures still raises questions. The decision on standing can also be eagerly awaited. A positive answer could trigger a far-reaching wave of lawsuits on the grounds of a wide variety of affectedness and would open the door to climate lawsuits as a whole.

The ECHR has shown a keen interest in taking a position on the substantive issues in this case. It will be particularly exciting to see how the ECHR will balance the threat to human rights posed by global warming on the one hand, and the democracy and sovereignty of states as the core of the ECHR on the other.

If you are interested in an exact detailed classification of the hearing, two of our staff members have published a very readable article in the JUS.

Visit to the ECJ (19.01.2023)

Entry Hall EUGH

Entrance hall of the ECJ

As part of the lecture course on European Law under Professor Peters, a group of students were given the opportunity to visit the ECJ.

After a short introduction by Dr. Lauer (research assistant, cabinet member of Judge Laitenberger) one of the lecturers we were able to recruit for the course on European Law, we went on to the big stage of European Law.

We were allowed to watch a hearing of the European Court of Justice. The case was c-27/22, a preliminary ruling by an Italian court on questions arising from a case against VW, which arose from the diesel scandal. Representatives of the Italian government, the Dutch government, the European Commission, and VW's representatives were already in the courtroom.

The door behind the judges' seats opened and everyone stood up. The following 3 hours flew by. It was exciting to see European law, which one otherwise only knew from the pages of textbooks, come to life before one's own eyes. A lively discussion on the interpretation of European law, by the best lawyers from the most diverse countries in Europe, and simultaneously in a total of 4 languages.

After the lunch break in the cafeteria of the ECJ, the event continued with a lecture by Ms K. Andová (research assistant, cabinet member of Mr Justice Csehi). As the visit took place as part of the course on European Law, Ms Andová went through the court proceedings that took place in case c-27/22 with us. She was pleased with our visit, and mentioned it was a change that she could welcome students to her place of work.

Next on the agenda, we had Mr Laitenberger, a judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union, who had agreed to hold a Q&A session with us. Mr. Laitenberger answered all our questions in a very relaxed manner, from cases that had particularly stuck in his mind, his everyday life at the court to tips and tricks for a career in the EU institutions.

Later, we had a guided tour through the beautiful buildings of the ECJ, which left us in awe. We started our journey home, on the one hand reluctantly and on the other hand with buzzing heads. If you are curious about excursion, feel free to check us out on Instagram.

Russia's War against Ukraine

Flyer Ukraine

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia has been waging war against Ukraine since the illegal annexation of the Crimea Peninsula and the beginning of military support for pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas. Now, however, the Russian regime is going even further, denying Ukraine its sovereignty and the Ukrainian people their right to self-determination. This war is also an attack on the international law order that has been in place since 1945.
In interviews with the "Trierischer Volksfreund" and "SWR", Prof Dr Birgit Peters takes a look at Russia's aggression from the perspective of public international law and explains why it is also important for Putin's war to be dealt with legally before international courts.
For further information you might, for example, refer to the website of the journal "Osteuropa", published by the "Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde e.V.", containing key documents in German translation - such as President Putin's declaration of war, President Zelensky’s speech, as well as analyses and interviews on the situation.
If you want to actively help those affected, you can find an overview of different organizations and how to support them here.
Furthermore, the Association for Student Exchange in Central and Eastern Europe (GFPS) e. V. has set up a page on which a lot of information and offers of help are compiled.You can find information on legal issues on the website of the ICC, the ICJ or the ECtHR.

News on Climate Protection


Prof. Dr. Peters and Ms. Arling have written a very informative article on the recent ruling of the "Bundesverfassungsgericht".

Publications of the Professorship

Legitimation durch Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung ?

Professor Peters published the book "Legitimation through Public Participation?" in August 2020. It is the printed version of her 'habilitation' thesis. You can find more information about the book at the publishing house Mohr Siebeck.