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Olivia Hamlyn

  • Overview



    Dr Olivia Hamlyn was appointed Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck in September 2019. Prior to joining Birkbeck, Olivia was a Lecturer at the University of Leicester, having completed a PhD at University College London, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council. In 2013, she completed a training contract at Clifford Chance LLP.

    While at Leicester, Olivia conducted research for the European Parliamentary Research Service on the implementation of EU pesticides regulation for a European Implementation Assessment. In 2019, she co-organised a conference on law and economics, supported by the Independent Social Research Foundation, the Association for Heterodox Economics and Leicester Law School.

    During her PhD, Olivia worked as a tutor with The Brilliant Club and as a research assistant with the UK Hub for Responsible Research and Innovation, on the European Commission-funded RRI Tools project at UCL’s Department of Science and Technology Studies.

    She is an active member of the UK Environmental Law Association.



    • BA Hons, University of Oxford, 2005
    • Graduate Diploma in Law, City University, 2008
    • LL.M in Environmental Law and Policy, UCL, 2010
    • PhD, UCL, 2017
    • Solicitor (non-practising)

    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Library Representative
    • LLB Law Part-Time Admissions Tutor
    • Programme Director LLM Environmental Law, Policy and Governance
    • Director, Environmental Policy Clinic (in association with the Environmental Law Foundation)

    Professional activities

    ‘Is green innovation green?’ (UKELA Annual Conference, University of Sheffield, 28-30 June 2019)

    'Economic Imaginaries, Environmental Regulation and Regulatory Design' (SLS virtual conference, 1-4 September 2020)

    ‘Double vision: conflicting ambitions in the EU's regulation of synthetic biology’ (LSA annual meeting, Washington DC USA, 30 May-2 June 2019)

    ‘Shadow zones: transparency and pesticides regulation’ (SLS Conference London, 4-7 September 2018)

    ‘Selective transparency and the authorisation of pesticides in the EU’ (LSA annual meeting, Toronto Canada, 7-10 June 2018)

    Panel member, Environmental Question Time (UKELA Annual Conference, University of Sussex, 1-3 July 2016)

    ‘Inconsistent visions of public participation in the European Union’s regulation of synthetic biology’ (LSA annual meeting, New Orleans USA, 2-5 June 2016)

    ‘Responsible Research and Innovation and Regulating Synthetic Biology’ (SLSA Seminar, University of Birmingham, 19 January 2016)

    Professional memberships

    • UK Environmental Law Association

    • Society of Legal Scholars

    • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Environmental law and policy
    • Technology, innovation and the law
    • Governance and regulation
    • EU law

    Research overview

    Dr Olivia Hamlyn’s research sits in the broader fields of environmental law and law and technology. She completed a doctoral thesis on the EU’s regulation of technologies that pose risks to the environment and human health, focusing in particular on regulatory decision-making regarding pesticides and synthetic biology. Since completing her PhD, she has published further on EU pesticides regulation, including a report on the implementation of the EU’s Plant Protection Product Regulation 2009 for the European Parliamentary Research Service.

    Olivia’s work draws heavily on research in science and technology studies on risk, innovation and public engagement with science and research in political science on governance and regulatory theory. She has particular interests in transparency and public participation in decision-making, as well as innovation governance and innovation policy and how these interact with the law and regulation. Her current research relates to the intersection between the economic and the environmental and the role of imagination in shaping environmental law.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome PhD applications from students interested in the following areas:

    • Environmental law, regulation and policy
    • Risky technologies and environmental risk regulation


    Teaching modules

    • Regulating Technology (LALW060S7)
    • Environmental Problems and the Law (LALW078S7)
  • Publications