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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.

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


  • Interpreting Environmental Offences: The Need for Certainty (Hart Publishing, 28.05.2015)
  • Q & A Land Law 2014-2015, Martin J Dixon and Emma Lees (Routledge, 08.12.2014)
  • Forthcoming (2017), Environmental Law, D McGillivray, S Bell, E Lees, O Pederson and E Stokes (OUP)
  • Forthcoming (2019), The Principles of Land Law (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

  • “The Public Face of the Register: Confidence in the Land Registration Act 2002” in Das Grundbuch im Europa des 21. Jahrhunderts (ed Arkadiusz Wudarski, Duncker & Humblot, 2016, pp. 371-394)
  • “Contamination and the Polluter Pays Principle” in Implementing Environmental Law (eds Martin & Kennedy, Edward Elgar, 2015, pp. 118-133)
  • “State Guaranteed Title: The Land Registration Act 2002” in Property Law Perspectives III (eds Dorothy Gruyaert et al, Intersentia, 2015, pp. 117-134)
  •  Forthcoming, “Guaranteed Title, No Title Guaranteed” in Land Registration Systems (eds Martin Dixon et al)

Articles and Notes (peer-reviewed and sole authored)

  •  “Allocation of Decision-Making power under the Habitats Directive” (2016) 28 Journal of Environmental Law 191-219
  •  “Powers of the Beneficiary of a Charge” (2016) 80 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 157-167
  •  “Responsibility and Liability for Climate Loss and Damage after Paris” Climate Policy (published online 01.08.2016, to appear in special journal issue)
  •  “The Polluter Pays Principle and the Remediation of Land” (2016) 8 International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 2-20
  •  “Encroachments and Schedule 6 LRA 2002: Unknotting the Tangle” (2015) 79 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 110-122
  •  “MacDonald v MacDonald: Horizontal Effect of Article 8” (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 34-39. Discussed by the Supreme Court in Versloot Dredging BV v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG [2016] UKSC 45.
  •  “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
  •  “Indemnity and the Land Registration Act 2002” (2014) 73 Cambridge Law Journal 250-253.
  •  “Lawrence v Fen Tigers: Noise in the Supreme Court” (2014) 78 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 449-460.
  •  “Localism and environmental law: uneasy bedfellows?” [2014] Journal of Planning and Environmental Law 176-180.
  •  “The meaning of “deposit”: Thames Water v Bromley Magistrates’ Court” (2014) 26 Journal of Environmental Law 1-9.
  •  “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.
  •  “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.
  •  “Title by registration- rectification, indemnity and mistake and the Land Registration Act 2002” (2013) 76 Modern Law Review 62-82.
  •  “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.
  •  “Pushing the boundaries of Dutton” (2011) 75 Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 74-82 (as Lochery).
  •  “Causing contamination: R (Crest Nicholson Residential Limited) v Secretary of State for the Environment”, (2010) 140 Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Journal 90-91 (as Lochery).

Articles and Notes (peer-reviewed) – Co-Authored

  •  “Incoherence and incompatibility in planning law” (2015) 7 International Journal of Law in the Built Environment 111-126 (with Edward Shepherd).
  •  “Interests, Powers and Mere Equities in Modern Land Law” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (with Simon Cooper), currently available in advance access online,

Book Reviews

  •  “Expropriation Volumes I and II” [2016] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 328-330.
  •  “Introduction to Land Law – S. Gardner and E McKenzie” [2015] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 537-538.
  •  “The Right to Housing: Law, Concepts, and Possibilities – J. Hohmann” [2015] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 95-96.


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