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Dr Caer Smyth

Lecturer in Law

School of Law and Politics

+44 (0)2920 874628
1.25, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision


Caer is an interdisciplinary legal researcher who employs socio-legal research methodologies to explore problems of environmental law and procedural environmental justice.

Caer’s doctoral research project examined the role of rationalist assumptions in participatory decision-making processes and their impact on the treatment of the environment. For this project, she conducted ethnographic research at a public local inquiry into the M4 Corridor around Newport (M4CAN) scheme.

Her current work builds on thesis findings and investigates obstacles facing effective public participation in environmental decision-making, e.g. the treatment of expertise and the adversarial nature of public local inquiries.


Caer completed her PhD at Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, and joined the School as a lecturer in January 2020.

She is a member of the Environmental Justice Research Unit, the Ethnography group at Cardiff School of Social Sciences and the Thinking through Feminism and Colonialism reading group.


This year, Caer is teaching on the following modules:

  • Legal Foundations (UG)
  • Human Rights Law (UG)
  • Environmental Law and Justice (UG)

Caer has the following publications:


  • C Smyth, ‘Being Reasonable: How does Rationality Affect Participatory Environmental Governance?’ in HT Anker and BE Olsen (eds), Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: Legal Instruments and Approaches (Intersentia, 2018) 211-228



Caer is interested in supervising PhDs on a range of areas in environmental law, including but not limited to:

  • public participation in environmental decision-making
  • environmental justice
  • ecofeminism
  • expertise in decision-making
  • public local inquiries

She would be particularly interested in supervising students employing empirical research methods.