Phillip Paiement appointed Professor of Law and Governance in the Anthropocene

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Tilburg University has appointed dr. Phillip Paiement of Tilburg Law School to Professor of Law and Governance in the Anthropocene, effective September 1st, 2023. Phillip Paiement’s research is devoted to transnational strategic litigation in climate change, biodiversity conservation, large-scale land transfers and pollution from extractives industries.

The fields of governance and conflict that Phillip Paiement studies, represent the key planetary boundaries that have already been transgressed, placing our societies and natural environments at risk. Litigation is one of many legal and political tools that is increasingly mobilized by individuals, communities, civil society organizations and public authorities to push for accountability. Paiement’s research studies how litigation is affected by the professional networks of lawyers involved in developing these cases, as they share resources, ideas, and strategies as well as negotiate differences about theories of change and political goals.

The professorial chair is a reflection of Tilburg Law School’s emphasis on the Anthropocene, i.e. the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. It is a principal theme of concern for legal and governance research at TLS since taking part in the 2019 (national Dutch) Sector Plan, when TLS chose to focus on questions related to Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene. This fostered a research community which is now a pillar of the research program Global Law & Governance as well.

Paiement will continue to teach courses in jurisprudence, comparative law and public interest litigation. His courses in jurisprudence teach students the fundamental skills that define all legal work - identifying and analyzing legislation and case law, using various strategies of legal interpretation and argumentation, and conducting legal analyses across multiple legal systems. These are also aspects of legal work that he studies when working with transnational strategic litigation in climate and environmental governance.

I am very happy that Professor Paiement decided to continue his career with us. His multi-disciplinary profile fits excellent in our University and Law School. Furthermore his proven strong engagement in education together with his outstanding research trajectory in a field that is key to our Law School, also embedded in the National Sectorplan on Law, adds to the strengths of our team. Finally also his academic citizenship together with his connected and caring leadership style will contribute undoubtedly to team science that we embrace. - Geert Vervaeke, Dean of Tilburg Law School


Since 2019, Phillip Paiement (1988) has worked as an Associate Professor in Jurisprudence at Tilburg Law School. He has received an LLM in International Human Rights and Criminal Justice from Utrecht University (2010), an MS in Socio-Legal Research from the Oxford University Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (2011) and a PhD in Law from Tilburg Law School (2015). Since September 2022 he is the Principal Investigator in the ERC Starting Grant 2021 funded project ’TransLitigate: The Agency of Transnational Strategic Litigators in Global Environmental Governance’. Prior to this project, Paiement’s research revolved around transnational standard setting bodies and auditing firms working on sustainability related issues in global value chains, particularly in garment, palm oil and forestry industries. His research uses both socio-legal theory as well as qualitative empirical methods. He also serves as the co-Convening Editor of the journal Transnational Legal Theory and has served on the board of the Dutch Law and Society Association (Vereniging voor de Sociaalwetenschappelijke bestudering van het Recht) from 2016-2020.