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Ms Jodie Bettis

Photograph of Jodie Bettis

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Postgraduate Researcher and Grand Union Scholar in the School of Social Sciences & Global Studies. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UKRI, my research is interdisciplinary, currently combining legal geography and environmental ethics to explore the theory and practice of ecocide law in a UK context.

I have worked in the environmental sector since 1996, graduating from the Open University in 2002 with a BSc Honours (Open) and a Diploma in Pollution Control whilst working as an analytical chemist in the contaminated land testing industry. I moved into the not-for-profit sector to work in environmental policy, first internationally at the UN affiliated Stakeholder Form (UNED-UK) and later, nationally at Wildlife and Countryside Link (Link). In 2007, I was awarded distinction for my MA in Environment, Policy, and Society dissertation entitled 'In Search of the Ecocentric Urbanite' in which I explored the recognition of the intrinsic value of nature of an urban wildlife area in south London.   

Research interests

I am interested in the criminalisation of environmental destruction through the introduction of ecocide law. Given the incentive afforded by the climate and ecological emergency, there is a case for preparations for the introduction of such a law to be conducted using empirical evidence and stakeholder engagement. By exploring concepts of ecocentric values, nature rights, green criminology and ecorestorative justice, my research aims to define the principles of ecocide, review ecocide law in different geographic contexts, and assess the practical implications of defending nature should the crime of ecocide be introduced in the UK. As no specific method exists, I will be analysing ecocide law in national jurisdictions for evidence of alignment with ecocide principles using a newly created 'spirit-of-the-law' test. Collated results will be shared with environmental NGO networks to assess the practical implications of defending nature, should the UK government recognise ecocide as a crime.

External collaborations

The Grand Union doctoral training partnership provides high-quality social science research training and opportunities to network, develop collaborations and share research with a range of audiences across the partnership between Brunel University London, the Open University and the University of Oxford. I am delighted to join the Globalisation, Development and Local Knowledges research cluster on the Geography pathway (2020 cohort).