- The University of Aberdeen Taylor Building, Dunbar Street, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UB
Dr Thomas L Muinzer FRSA
Dr Thomas L Muinzer is from Northern Ireland, and undertook his qualifying law degree and other legal qualifications at Queen's University Belfast. After receiving his Doctorate he taught in the Law School and the Planning Department at Queen’s University, then was appointed Lecturer in Law at Stirling University, Scotland, where he was Co-Director of the Law School’s major dual-stream LLM/MSc Masters programme (2016-2018). He was subsequently Lecturer in Energy Law at ‘CEPMLP’, the University of Dundee’s Centre for Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy (2018-2020). In 2020 he joined the Law School at the University of Aberdeen as Senior Lecturer in Energy Transition Law.
Dr Muinzer’s academic research focuses most pointedly on the Low Carbon Transition, with particular reference to climate law and governance and issues around decarbonisation of the energy sector. He has subsidiary and intersecting interests in the sphere of constitutional law, human rights protections, and the safe and responsible governance of energy and the environment.
He has written the first monograph on the world’s first example of national framework climate legislation, the UK’s pioneering Climate Change Act: Climate and Energy Governance for the UK Low Carbon Transition: The Climate Change Act 2008 (Palgrave: UK, 2018). He is the contributing editor to a forthcoming edited collection that will provide the first comprehensive book-length study of these novel regimes as they begin to emerge around the world: National Climate Change Acts: The Emergence, Form and Nature of National Framework Climate Legislation (Hart, forthcoming).
He also occasionally endeavours to explore somewhat obscure or frequently neglected spheres of law in his work (to date, most particularly burial law, broader laws relating to the ‘dead body'/corpse, national monuments law, and cultural heritage).
Dr Muinzer has considerable experience as an educator in a range of legal areas, and has particular teaching experience in the sphere of climate and energy law and governance, constitutional law and environmental law. In 2019 he designed and delivered CEPMLP’s first ‘law and renewables-focused’ course, the module Law and Policy of Renewable Energy Sources and Technology.
Activities and Engagement
- 2020, Co-founder, Scottish Climate Emergency Legal Network, and member of the Legislation Working Group at the Legal Services Agency, Glasgow, which co-ordinates the Network.
- November 2019, appointed Co-Convenor of the Society of Legal Scholars’ Energy Law section.
- January 2018, appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) after nomination from Tom Collins OBE.
- September 2017, appointed to the Law Society of Scotland's Education and Training (Policy) Committee and its Education and Training (Standard Setting) Sub-Committee, which regulate aspects of solicitors’ training in Scotland.
- July 2017 (onward), facilitator and provider of advisory support to the Centre for United Nations Constitutional Research (Brussels).
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Member of the Society of Legal Scholars; Associate Member of the Irish Association of Law Teachers, amongst other organisations.
- Co-founder and Co-editor, Freckle Magazine, the sustainability-themed magazine that celebrates people and place in Northern Ireland, Scotland and beyond. http://www.frecklenorthernireland.org/subscribeandbuy/
- PhD, The UK’s Energy Decarbonisation Process and the Challenges of Devolution, Queen's University Belfast, July 2015. Fully funded by a Department for Employment and Learning Scholarship.
- LLM in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, Distinction, Queen's University Belfast, 2010-2011.
- Mlegsci (Qualifying Law Degree), Distinction, Queen's University Belfast, 2008-2010.
Dr Muinzer holds an MA in Irish Literature, and a BA in English and Music. His MA research, supported by a government studentship, focused on the work of Victorian barrister and poet Sir Samuel Ferguson, and included cataloguing important historical documents in the Ferguson manuscript collection at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. This stream of his education intersects with the substantial involvement he has had in the Arts sector, and he has written widely in Arts areas, including a book on aesthetics and morality commissioned by Lapwing Press in 2009, published in 2011.
Funding & Consultancy:
Dr Muinzer has received academic funding from UK Government, the Northern Irish Government, the Global Challenges Research Fund, and the Royal Town Planning Institute.
He has been involved in an advisory capacity with a range of energy, environmental and other actors, including NGOs and governmental bodies.