Kerryn Brent

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Kerryn Brent


Room 2.21, Faculty of Law, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 1708 (phone)

+61 3 6226 7623 (fax)

View more on Dr Kerryn Brent in WARP


Thesis Research

The Role of the No-Harm Rule in Governing Solar Radiation Management Geoengineering

Solar radiation management (SRM) is a class of geoengineering technologies that are being proposed by some scientists as an alternative response to anthropogenic climate change. Proposed SRM technologies pose significant risks of transboundary harm to the environment of other states and to the atmosphere. SRM is not governed by a specific international agreement. This thesis examines how the customary international law duty to prevent transboundary harm and harm to the global commons (the 'no-harm' rule) might respond to these risks and contribute to the international governance of SRM. This thesis uses legal doctrinal analysis to examine the content of the no-harm rule and how it might be interpreted to apply to SRM. It also draws on the legal theory of Jutta Brunnée and Stephen J Toope called 'interactional international law' to assess the potential of the no-harm rule to promote voluntary compliance from states. From this analysis, this thesis will recommend how the no-harm rule can be developed in order to better respond to the future risks of SRM.


2010 Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law (Hons First Class), University of Newcastle
2011 Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, College of Law
2011 Admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Research Interests

Public international law and international environmental law.

Fields of Research

  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law (180111)
  • Climate Change Processes (040104)
  • Chemical Oceanography (040502)
  • Law (180199)
  • Environmental Politics (160605)
  • Research, Science and Technology Policy (160511)
  • Law and Society (180119)
  • Environment Policy (160507)

Research Objectives

  • Climate and Climate Change (960399)
  • Climate Change Mitigation Strategies (960302)
  • Climate Change Adaptation Measures (960301)
  • Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments (961104)
  • Environmental Services (940110)
  • Justice and the Law (940499)
  • Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies (970118)


Total publications


Journal Article

(9 outputs)
2018Brent K, McDonald J, McGee J, Gogarty B, 'Carbon dioxide removal geoengineering', Australian Law Journal, 92, (10) pp. 830-838. ISSN 0004-9611 (2018) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: McDonald J; McGee J; Gogarty B


2018Brent KA, McGee JS, McDonald J, Rohling EJ, 'International law poses problems for negative emissions research', Nature Climate Change, 8, (6) pp. 451-453. ISSN 1758-678X (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0181-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: McGee JS; McDonald J


2018Gogarty B, McGee J, Brent K, McDonald J, Haward M, et al., 'Glacier geoengineering needs lawyers too', Nature, 560 Article 167. ISSN 0028-0836 (2018) [Letter or Note in Journal]

DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-05877-5 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gogarty B; McGee J; McDonald J; Haward M; King MA


2017Brent KA, 'The certain activities case: what implications for the no-harm rule?', Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 20 pp. 28-56. ISSN 1385-2140 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.4337/apjel.2017.01.02 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1


2017McGee JS, Brent KA, Burns W, 'Geoengineering the oceans: an emerging frontier in international climate change governance', Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs pp. 1-14. ISSN 1836-6503 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/18366503.2017.1400899 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2

Co-authors: McGee JS


2015Brent K, McGee J, McDonald J, 'The governance of geoengineering: an emerging challenge for international and domestic legal systems?', Journal of Law, Information and Science, 24, (1) pp. EAP 1-33. ISSN 0729-1485 (2015) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: McGee J; McDonald J


2015Brent KA, McGee J, Maguire A, 'Does the 'No-Harm'Rule' Have a Role in Preventing Transboundary Harm and Harm to the Global Atmospheric Commons from Geoengineering?', Climate Law, 5, (1) pp. 35-63. ISSN 1878-6553 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1163/18786561-00501007 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4

Co-authors: McGee J


2015Moore N, Benmazhar H, Brent K, Du H, Iese V, et al., 'Climate engineering: early reflections on a complex conversation', Climate Law, 5, (2-4) pp. 295-301. ISSN 1878-6561 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1163/18786561-00504007 [eCite] [Details]


2012Brent KA, McGee J, 'The regulation of geoengineering: A gathering storm for international climate change policy?', Air Quality and Climate Change, 46, (4) pp. 22-27. ISSN 1836-5884 (2012) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]


Chapter in Book

(2 outputs)
2018Brent K, 'Solar radiation management geoengineering and strict liability for ultrahazardous activities', Global Environmental Change and Innovation in International Law, Cambridge University Press, N Craik, CSG Jefferies, SL Seck, T Stephens (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 161-179. ISBN 9781108526081 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1017/9781108526081.010 [eCite] [Details]


2017Brent K, McGee J, McDonald Jan, 'Negative emissions and geoengineering technologies: an emerging challenge for international and domestic legal systems', O Estado Regulador no Cenario Ambiental, Instituto Planeta Verde, AA de Carli, E Aydos, and PCS Avzaradel (ed), Sao Paulo, pp. 406-466. ISBN 978-85-63522-42-9 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: McGee J; McDonald Jan



(1 outputs)
2016Bowie AR, Jabour J, Trull TW, McLachlan K, Boyd PW, et al., 'Position analysis: ocean fertilisation' pp. 1-32. ISSN 1835-7911 (2016) [Substantial Review]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bowie AR; Jabour J; Trull TW; Boyd PW; Press T; Lannuzel D; McGee J

Other Public Output

(2 outputs)
2018Brent K, Gogarty B, McDonald J, McGee J, 'Geoengineering the Great Barrier Reef needs strong rules', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group, Australia, 1 August 2018 (2018) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Gogarty B; McDonald J; McGee J


2016Bowie AR, Jabour J, Trull TW, McLachlan K, Boyd PW, et al., 'Position Analysis: Ocean Fertilisation', The Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania, ISSN: 1835-7911 (2016) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bowie AR; Jabour J; Trull TW; Boyd PW; Press T; Lannuzel D; McGee JS

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Developing International Governance of Marine-Based Geoengineering (2018)$26,118
This project will provide an innovative international legal analysis of the current and future prospects of marine geoengineering technologies, including recommendations for legal reform.
Centre for International Governance Innovation ($26,118)
Research Grant
Administered By
American University Washington
Research Team
Burns W; McGee JS; Brent KA
Regulating Plan B: Developing Legal Frameworks for Multiscale Governance of Geoengineering (2017)$7,793
This project scopes research designs for investigating what integrated, multiscale legal and/or governance regime for geoengineering technologies are required for Australia and how this governance regime will interact with transnational and international governance of geoengineering.
University of Tasmania ($7,793)
Grant-CAL Hothouse Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
McGee JS; McDonald J; Gogarty B; Brent KA

Research Supervision




PhDCo-evolution and Re-alignment: Exploring autopoiesis and adaptive multiplexity in ocean and climate governance regimes2018