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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Emma Lees

Dr Emma Lees

University Lecturer in Environmental and Property Law

Property Law

Environmental Law

Planning Law

Office Phone: (01223) 768417

Research Interests

I research all areas of land law but am particularly interested in registration and issues surrounding the 'public face' of the register. I also research environmental law, focusing on national law regulation of the use of land. In particular I have focused on waste, contaminated land and habitats' protection. I also consider local and national issues in planning law and am embarking on a project concerning European Union planning law.

Research Supervision

I supervise undergraduate and graduate dissertations on environmental and land law. 


I lecture on the legal research skills elements of paper 3. I also lecture land law, and landlord and tenant law and legal issues in real estate. I am the paper coordinator and lecturer for the graduate paper on national and comparative environmental law. I supervise land law.

Key Publications


  • Q & A Land Law (new edition forthcoming), Martin J Dixon and Emma Lees.
  • Environmental Offences: Remedying Interpretive Uncertainty (Hart Publishing
  • Forthcoming, Environmental Law, D McGillivray, S Bell, E Lees, O Pederson and E Stokes (OUP) 

Edited Collections

  • Forthcoming, Oxford Handbook of Comparative Environmental Law, Emma Lees and J E Viñuales (Oxford University Press)v
  • Forthcoming, Environmental and Energy Law (Part of The International Library of Law and the Environment series), J E Viñuales and Emma Lees (Edward Elgar).

Book Chapters

  • “Remediation of Contaminated Land: the Polluter Pays Principle and Stewardship” in Towards a Jurisprudence of Implementation (eds Martin, Bigdela, Daya-Winterbottom, DuPlessis, & Kennedy, Edward Elgar, 2015, pp. )
  • “State Guaranteed Title: The Land Registration Act 2002” in Property Law Perspectives III (eds Dorothy Gruyaert et al,) 
  • “The Public Face of the Register: Confidence in the Land Registration Act 2002” in Functions of Land Registers in an European Comparative Law Perspective (ed Arkadiusz Wudarski) (forthcoming)
  • Forthcoming, “Guaranteed Title, No Title Guaranteed” in Land Registration Systems (eds Martin Dixon et al)


  • “Interpreting the contaminated land regime: should the “polluter” pay?” (2012) 14 Environmental Law Review 98-110.
  • “The contaminated land regime- new guidance, and a new philosophy?” (2012) 14 Environmental Law Review 267-278.
  • “Title by registration- rectification, indemnity and mistake and the Land Registration Act 2002” (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 62-82.
  • “Actions for possession in the context of political protest: the role of article one, protocol one and horizontal effect.” (2013) 77 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 43-53.
  • “Localism and environmental law: uneasy bedfellows?” [2014] Journal of Planning and Environmental Law 176.
  • “Encroachments and schedule 6 LRA 2002: unknotting the tangle” [2015] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer.
  • “Incoherence and incompatibility in planning law” (2015) 7 International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 111.
  • “The polluter pays principle and the Remediation of Land” (2016) 8 International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 2
  • “Allocation of decision-making power under the Habitats Directive” Journal of Environmental Law
  • Forthcoming, “Legal Responsibility for Climate Change after Paris” Climate Policy
  • In Review, “Interests, Powers and Mere Equities in Modern Land Law” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (with Simon Cooper)

Other Publications

Case Notes

  • “Causing contamination: R (Crest Nicholson Residential Limited) v Secretary of State for the Environment”, 140 Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Journal 98 (as Lochery).
  • “Pushing the boundaries of Dutton” 2011 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 74-82 (as Lochery)
  • Keay v Morris Homes and section 2 Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989” (2013) 77 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 68-74.
  • Richall Holdings v Fitzwilliam: Malory v Cheshire Homes and the LRA 2002.” (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 924-934
  • “The meaning of “deposit”: Thames Water v Bromley Magistrates’ Court” (2014) 26 Journal of Environmental Law 1-9.
  • “Indemnity and the Land Registration Act 2002” (2014) 73 Cambridge Law Journal 250-253.
  • Lawrence v Fen Tigers: Noise in the Supreme Court” [2014] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 449-460.
  • MacDonald v MacDonald: Horizontal Effect of Article 8” (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 34-39. Discussed in the Supreme Court in Versloot Dredging.
  • “Rectification of the register – prospective or retrospective?” (2015) 78 Modern Law Review 361-371.
  • “Registration make-believe and forgery - Swift 1st Ltd v Chief Land Registrar” (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 515-519.
  • “Powers of the Beneficiary of a Charge” Conveyancer and Property Lawyer

 Conference Papers

  • “Remediation of contaminated land- the polluter pays principle and stewardship” 2013 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Annual Colloquium- University of Waikato, Hamilton NZ,  June 2013.
  • “The Land Registration Act 2002: putting the state guarantee of title front and centre” Young Property Lawyers Forum, Leuven Belgium, November 2013.
  • “Local decision-making and national goals: incoherence and incompatibility in planning law.” (with E Shepherd) AESOP, Utrecht July 2014.
  • "Horizontal Effect in Land Law: How to Balance Articles 8, 10 and 11 and Article 1 Protocol 1" Young Property Lawyers Forum, Oxford, UK, September 2014.
  • “Understanding Article 1  Protocol 1” Cambridge Centre for Private Law, Cambridge, October 2014.
  • “The Role of the Judiciary in Environmental Decision-Making” Cambridge Centre for Public Law, Cambridge, November 2014.
  • “Guarantees and the Land Register” Land Registration Conference, Cambridge, November 2014.
  • “A Case of Mistaken Priority” Cambridge Centre for Property Law Seminar Series, Cambridge, UK, December 2014.
  •  “Legal Barriers to Sustainable Development” LSE Debate on Sustainable Development, London, UK, March 2015.
  •  “Law as Space” Oxford Brookes Symposium on Law and Architecture, Oxford, UK, March 2015.
  • “Human Rights and European Property Law: Integration or Imposition” ALPS, Athens, Georgia, USA, May 2015.
  • “Legal Responsibility for Loss and Damage”, Climate Change and Energy After Paris, Cambridge, UK, January 2016.
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