Nengye Liu

Associate Professor, Dr, Director

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Personal profile


Dr Nengye Liu is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Environmental Law at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He was educated in the School of Law, Wuhan University (China, LLB and LLM) and the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University (Belgium, Doctor of Laws, 2012). Prior to joining Macquarie Law School, A/Prof Liu taught at the Universities of Adelaide and New England. He was previously a European Union Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Dundee (Scotland) and a Future Ocean Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Kiel (Germany). A/Prof Liu has held visiting research positions at the Universities of Cambridge, Tsinghua, Montreal, Hamburg, Lapland, Tromsø, Tasmania, Trier and Shanghai Jiao Tong. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Lapland (Finland, September 2017) and the School of Law, Xiamen University (China, September 2018, as Chen An Chair Professor of International Law).

A/Prof Liu is the lead editor of two books: "The European Union and the Arctic" (Brill, 2017),  "Governing Marine Living Resources in the Polar Regions" (Edward Elgar, 2019), and has published 50+ refereed articles in leading journals, such as Marine PolicyInternational Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and EconomicsInternational Journal of Marine and Coastal LawOcean Development and International LawJournal of Maritime Law and CommerceReview of European, Comparative and International Environmental LawHeidelberg Journal of International Law as well as book chapters with highly regarded international publishers, such as Routledge, Brill Nijhoff, Hart, Springer, Edward Elgar and Kluwer Law International. A/Prof Liu has presented research results in more than 30 countries across five continents. He regularly engages with the public through opinion pieces in publications such as The ConversationThe DiplomatChina Dialogue, and The Interpreter. His research has been covered by mainstream media around the world, e.g., BBC, ABC, The Atlantic and The Strait Times.

A/Prof Liu 's current projects include Australian Research Council Discovery Grant “Geopolitical Changes and the Antarctic Treaty System” (2019-2022) and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Research Grant "The Rise of China and the Future of High Seas Governance (2021 - 2023). Other major funding bodies, such as the EU Marie Curie Fellowship, German Research Foundation (DFG), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Research Council of Norway, Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), have also supported his research. A/Prof Liu serves as a member of editorial board for Marine Policy (Elsevier, IF=4.173) and Ocean Development and Internatinoal Law (Taylor & Francis, IF=1.541) as well as a member of Advisory Board for Brazilian Yearbook of Law of the Sea (Brazilian Institute for the Law of the Sea). He was an Associate Editor for the Yearbook of International Environmental Law (OUP, 2014-2021), a Review Editor for the Frontiers in Marine Science (2017-2021) and a member of Editorial Board for ANZSIL Perspective (2020-2021). In 2021, A/Prof Liu was elected as Co-Chair of American Society of International Law's International Envrionmental Law Interest Group as well as Member of the Governing Board, IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, representing Oceania. 

Research interests

A/Prof Nengye Liu's research covers the law of the sea, international environmental law, international polar law, Chinese law and the EU External Relations law. His current research examines the relationships between power, order and international law, with aim to answer the big question on how international community could best govern final frontiers of our planet (Arctic, Antarctica, Deep Seabed, High Seas and Outer Space) for a peaceful and sustainable future.

As the Director of Centre for Environmental Law (CEL), A/Prof Liu is leading a CEL team to drive transformative change through future-focused interdisciplinary legal research that provides cutting edge solutions to the global challenges of biodiversity loss and extinction risk.  


LAWS2000 International Law

LAWS5086 Law of the Sea

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Research engagement

A/Prof Liu's expertise is regularly sought by intenraitonal organizations and NGOs. For exmaple, he was an adviser of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition delegation to attend the Annual Meeting of Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in 2021 and the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCMs) in 2017 (Beijing) and 2019 (Prague). To date, he has delivered 100+ presentations at conferences and seminars around the world, such as at:

Watch A/Prof Liu's 2021 World Ocean Day Address at the European Parliament on the protection of the Southern Ocean amid geopolitical tension.

Preeminent international law conferences: the International Law Association Biennial Conference, the International Law Association British Branch Annual Conference, the Polar Law Symposium, the European Association of Chinese Law Studies Annual Conference

Preeminent environmental law conferences: the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Annual Colloquium, the Hamburg International Environmental Law Conference, the Sino – EU Conference on Environmental Law

Interdisciplinary conferences: the International Studies Association Annual Convention, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference, the Biennial conference of SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Humanities and Social Sciences (SC-HASS), the Earth System Governance Annual Conference, Arctic Circle, Arctic Biodiversity Congress, the Australian Frontiers of Science Annual Conference, the International Marine Conservation Congress

Seminars at key institutes (North/South America): the Polar Institute of Wilson Centre, the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the Centre for Globalization, Law and Society at the University of California Irvine, the Ocean Frontiers Institute at the University of Dalhousie, the University of Montreal Law Faculty, the University of Buenos Aires Law Faculty, Argentine Coast Guard

Seminars at key institutes (Europe): European Parliament, the Chatham House/Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland, the Norwegian Centre of the Law of the Sea at the University of Tromsø, the University of Aberdeen Law School, the University of Hamburg Law Faculty, the Institute for Environment and Technology Law at Trier University, the University of Porto Law Faculty, the European University St. Petersburg, Russia, the National Research Council of Italy

Seminars at key institutes (Asia): the Centre for International law at the National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University Law School, the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong, Renmin University Law School, the China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies at Wuhan University, the Research Institute of Environmental Law at Wuhan University, the Centre for Polar and Deep Sea Development at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Science at Fudan University, the School of Law at Ocean University of China, Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Malaysia

Seminars at key institutes (Australia): the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law Keynote Lecture Series (December 2020), Institute for Regional Security (Canberra)

A/Prof Liu has been serving as Peer Reviewer for publishers and journals, includingCambridge University Press, Routledge, BloomsburyEdward ElgarBrill Nijhoff, Marine Policy, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Polar Record, Polar Research, Coastal Management, Ocean and Coastal Management, Water International, The Polar Journal, Polar Geography, Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, Yearbook of Polar Law, South African Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, China Oceans Law Review, International Journal of Public Policy, Asian Journal of Criminology, Asian Journal of International Law, Asian Journal of Comparative Law, UNSW Law Journal, Adelaide Law Review, Journal of Environmental Management, Global Policy, GeoForum, Territory Politics Governance, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Melbourne Journal of International Law, Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, Environmental Policy and Law, Ocean Development and International Law, Arctic Review on Law and Politics, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

A/Prof Liu has been serving as Grant Reviewer for funding bodies such as, Australian Research Council (Discovery, Future Fellowship and Laureate Fellowship), The Leverhulme Trust (United Kingdom), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada)


Research student supervision

Current Supervision (as Primary Supervisor)

  • Ethan Beringen, Thesis Title:"Australia and Conservation of Marine Living Resources in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction"
  • Jiliang Chen, Thesis Title: "Effective governance of the global commons: the case of Area Based Management Tools/Marine Protected Area in the High Seas"
  • Miaomiao Yin, Thesis Title: "Interaction between International Law and International Relations in the Future Evolution of the Antarctic Treaty System"

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Law, Ghent University


Award Date: 30 Sep 2012

Master of Law, Wuhan University


Award Date: 30 Jun 2007

Bachelor of Law, Wuhan University


Award Date: 30 Jun 2004

External positions

Co-Chair, International Environmental Law Interest Group, American Society of International Law

2021 → …

Member of the Governing Board (Oceania), IUCN Academy of Environmental Law

2021 → …

Adjunct Member, Environment Institute, University of Adelaide


University Associate, University of Tasmania



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