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5 Aug 2019

Encouraging the next generation of environmental lawyers

A clear reflection in Loch Duich beneath the iconic Five Sisters mountains of Kintail
Landscapes like this need legal protection.
We’re encouraging the next generation of environmental lawyers to hone their skills and ensure our environment is protected for future generations.

We’re pleased to announce the latest winner of the Colin Donald Environmental Law Award. The 2019 prize goes to Gemma Hayes, a student on the LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law at Edinburgh Law School.

Gemma is the latest up-and-coming environmental lawyer to secure the prize, which was launched in 2008.

“Gemma’s essay shone through with its excellent structure and logical points of argument.”
Stephen Small, the Trust's Solicitor and Secretary

This award is co-sponsored by the University of Glasgow. It is named after Colin Donald who, at the time of his death in 2006, was a Vice-President of the National Trust for Scotland, having had a long career with Glasgow-based law firm McGrigor Donald. He also gave service to many good causes including the Sir William Burrell Trust.

The competition is judged on the submission of essays on any topic of environmental law written by students as part of their studies at a Scottish university.

Gemma won the award with the submission of an essay on the relationship between the European Convention on Human Rights and environmental protection.

In her essay, Gemma argued for the adoption of an amendment or an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which would enshrine a right to a healthy environment in order to compensate for gaps in the existing jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and also to ensure that the European human rights system keeps pace with other international developments.

Gemma will receive a cash prize, and the winner of the award is also traditionally offered a placement with the National Trust for Scotland’s legal department.

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this for the love of Scotland.