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Prof. mr. dr. R.J.M. (René) Lefeber

International Environmental Law
Faculty of Law
Public International Law

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: 10.16
Postal address
  • Postbus 15859
    1001 NJ Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profiel


    René Lefeber focuses in his research on liability for environmental damage, compliance with international environmental law and the sustainable management of international areas.

    The main environmental aspects of his research are climate change and the use of advanced technologies. During his career, he has gained extensive international practical experience as a chairman of multilateral negotiations on damage caused by biotechnology, and by his memberships of international committees that have been established to secure compliance with multilateral environmental agreements as well as by his representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in intergovernmental negotiations on the management of international areas.

    Curriculum vitae

    René Lefeber studied at Leiden University andreceived his doctorate in law in 1996 for his thesis entitled   Transboundary Environmental Interference and the Origin of State Liability   at the University of Amsterdam .

    Since 2000, René Lefeber works at the International Law Division of the Directorate of Legal Affairs of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently as the Legal Adviser and Head of the International Law Division. In these capacities, René Lefeber advises the Netherlands Government on international law, including international environmental law, and represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands in intergovernmental negotiations as well as national and international judicial procedures.
    From 1994 until 2000, he worked as legal officer for the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.  Before he joined those Ministries, he worked as a lecturer in the field of Law of International Organizations at Leiden University and in the field of International Law at the University of Amsterdam. 
    René Lefeber has been Professor of International Environmental Law at ACELS since 2008. He has been a visiting professor at the University of London (1993-2004), the United Nations University (2010), and the University of Melbourne (2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018).

  • Publications


    • Lefeber, R. (2018). Responsibility not to cause transboundary environmental harm. In L. Krämer, & E. Orlando (Eds.), Principles of Environmental Law (pp. 92-102). (Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law; Vol. VI). Edward Elgar. [details]



    • Lefeber, R. (2014). The legal significance of the Supplementary Protocol: the result of a paradigm evolution. In A. Shibata (Ed.), International liability regime for biodiversity damage: the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol (pp. 73-91). (Routledge research in international environmental law). London, New York: Routledge. [details]
    • Lefeber, R., & Nieto Carrasco, J. (2014). Negotiating the Supplementary Protocol: the co-chairs' perspective. In A. Shibata (Ed.), International liability regime for biodiversity damage: the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol (pp. 52-70). (Routledge research in international environmental law). Routledge. [details]


    • Lefeber, R. (2013). Marine Scientific Research in the Antarctic Treaty System. In E. J. Molenaar, A. G. Oude Elferink, & D. R. Rothwell (Eds.), The law of the sea and the polar regions: interactions between global and regional regimes (pp. 323-341). (Publications on ocean development; No. 76). Nijhoff. [details]


    • Lefeber, R. (2012). Climate Change and State Responsibility. In R. Rayfuse, & S. V. Scott (Eds.), International law in the era of climate change (pp. 321-349). Edward Elgar. [details]
    • Lefeber, R., & Oberthür, S. (2012). Key features of the Kyoto Protocol's compliance system. In J. Brunnée, M. Doelle, & L. Rajamani (Eds.), Promoting compliance in an evolving climate regime (pp. 77-101). Cambridge University Press. [details]
    • Oberthür, S., & Lefeber, R. (2012). Das System der Erfüllungskontrolle des Kyoto-Protokolls: eine Bestandsaufnahme nach sechs Jahren Praxis. Archiv des Völkerrechts, 50(4), 420-449. [details]



    • Oberthür, S., & Lefeber, R. (2010). Holding countries to account: the Kyoto Protocol’s compliance system revisited after four years of experience. Climate Law, 1(1), 133-158. [details]



    • Lefeber, R. (2010). De doorwerking van multilaterale milieuverdragen in nationale rechtsordes. In M. N. Boeve, & R. Uylenburg (Eds.), Kansen in het omgevingsrecht: opstellen aangeboden aan N.S.J. Koeman bij zijn afscheid van het Centrum voor Milieurecht (pp. 227-243). Europa Law Publishing. [details]


    • Lefeber, R. (2009). Ongemakkelijke kansen in de poolgebieden. In A. G. Oude Elferink, & R. Lefeber (Eds.), Afkoeling na opwarming: het poolrecht onder druk? (pp. 51-96). (Mededelingen van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Internationaal Recht; No. 137). T.M.C. Asser Press. [details]
    • Lefeber, R. (2009). The practice of the Compliance Committee under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2006-2007). In T. Treves, L. Pineschi, A. Tanzi, C. Pitea, C. Ragni, & F. Romanin Jacur (Eds.), Non-compliance procedures and mechanisms and the effectiveness of international environmental agreements (pp. 303-317). T.M.C. Asser Press. [details]


    • Lefeber, R. J. M., Masson-Zwaan, T., Reibaldi, G., & Stewart, M. (2016). The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group - A Progress Report. In Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2016 (pp. 163-168)


    • Lefeber, R., & Pulles, T. (2013). Warming Up: succesvolle warming up om klimaatverandering te bestrijden lijkt valse start. Milieu & Recht, 40(8), 561-566. Article 70. [details]



    • Lefeber, R. (2009). An inconvenient responsibility. Eleven. [details]
    • Lefeber, R. (2009). Een ongemakkelijke verantwoordelijkheid. (Oratiereeks; No. 323). Vossiuspers UvA. [details]


    • Brölmann, C., Lefeber, R., & Zieck, M. (1993). Peoples and minorities in international law. Martinus Nijhoff.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • University of Melbourne
      Senior Fellow
    • Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken
      Volkenrechtelijk adviseur tevens hoofd Afdeling internationaal recht