Dr Michael Hennessy Picard
Michael Hennessy Picard holds a LLB Law from the University of Strasbourg and a PhD in Law from the University of Quebec in Montreal. He received two Best Thesis Prizes by the Quebec Society of Law Professors and the Quebec Society of International Law. Before joining the Edinburgh Law School, Michael was a research fellow at the McGill Law Faculty, the Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law & Policy, and University College London.
Picard teaches international environmental law, waste law, and the circular economy regulation. His teaching and research focus on the transnational regulation of global waste objects, from transboundary plastic pollution to the recycling of shipwrecks and the (mis)management of outer space debris. He examines the complex regulatory frameworks needed to organise the conversion of effluence (waste) into affluence (wealth). The legalities of loss and discards, in this context, are reimagined as a promise of future abundance in the transition to net zero and the circular economy.
In collaboration with colleagues at UoE, Picard is working on global standards and laws concerning space sustainability, including space debris management, sustainable manufacturing, procurement, rocket fuel, and mission design choices across the lifecycle of space activities.
Picard is also involved in cross-disciplinary collaborations. His latest output is a collective creative exercise on the uncomfortable but pressing topic of waste in the contemporary world. His co-edited Wastiary is richly illustrated with artwork, photography, collage and mixed media.
Picard welcomes proposals for postgraduate research in the areas of transnational waste law, international environmental law and earth-space sustainability regulation.