Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin and David Freestone were awarded the 2007 Elizabeth Haub Prize for Environmental Law. They received the Prize at a ceremony which took place at Stockholm University on November 17, 2008. The Prize is awarded each year for exceptional achievements in the field of environmental law, and is considered to be the most prestigious and renowned distinction that can be conferred upon an environmental lawyer.
The Elizabeth Haub Prize for environmental law was established in 1973 in honour of Mrs. Elizabeth Haub, an early patron and supporter of environmental law development. Since then, an international jury consisting of six prominent environment lawyers has annually awarded the Prize to some of the world’s most leading environmental law specialists.
Between 1973 and 2007 the Prize was administered jointly by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL). According to an agreement between ICEL and Stockholm University, concluded in 2008, the Prize will in the future be awarded at Stockholm University.
The Prize is handed over to the winners in a special ceremony that is held one year after the Jury has announced its decision. The 2007 laureates, Dr. Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin (Belgium) and Dr. David Freestone (United Kingdom), received their awards in Stockholm on 17 November 2008.
Dr. Françoise Burhenne-Guilmin has been instrumental in the development of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and was the head of its Environmental Law Centre from its establishment in 1970 until she stepped down from this post in 1999. Under her leadership, the Centre developed into a centre of excellence in its field, and established the world’s first, and later most extensive, information system on environmental law. She has played leading roles in furthering the field of international environmental law as an essential component of environmental management, especially through her direct involvement in the development of nearly every major international conservation treaties over the past 30 years. F. Burhenne has also created and directed the IUCN EPL series, and co-authored seven of its books in the field of biological diversity.
Dr. David Freestone (United Kingdom) was until recently Deputy General Counsel, Advisory Services, Legal Vice-Presidency, the World Bank. He was previously Chief Counsel, Environment and International Law, at the same bank. During his long and outstanding career as professor of international law at Hull University, United Kingdom and as an international civil servant, Dr. Freestone has published 18 books and over 100 scientific articles on various aspects of international environmental law. His research and publications on the legal protection of the marine environment and more recently on issues relating to climate change have had a tremendous impact on the development of law. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, and contributes to a number of its Specialists Groups.