NZ Centre for Environmental Law

Caroline Foster

Managing committee


Associate Professor/Director of Doctoral Studies

BA LLB (Canterbury)
LLM PhD (Cambridge)

Contact details

Building 803, room 216
17 Eden Crescent

Phone: +64 9 923 5636 +64 9 923 5636

Available to students:

2.15pm - 3pm


Dr Caroline Foster is a New Zealander with British citizenship, and speaks French and Spanish as second languages. She was a formerly a legal and policy adviser at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She graduated from the Andres Bello Chilean Diplomatic Academy as a foreign diplomat and worked with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 1990s. She was involved in a wide range of international legal issues, including United Nations legal issues and the work of the International Law Commission. On the environmental side she was involved in the Kyoto Protocol and the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol on the safe transfer and handling of living modified organisms. She also served as a New Zealand representative at international negotiations in a number of different areas of international law, including air services and the rights of indigenous peoples, and worked at the New Zealand High Commission in London.

Dr Foster has published a monograph with Cambridge University Press on "Science, Proof and Precaution in International Courts and Tribunals: Expert Evidence, Burden of Proof and Finality", reprinted in 2013. The book was cited by Judges Simma and Al-Khasawneh in the International Court of Justice in the Case Concerning Pulp Mills (Argentina v Uruquay) and by counsel in Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan). Dr Foster has visited the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge a number of times as a Visiting Fellow. She has also done work in the NGO sector in the United Kingdom and for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

Dr. Foster is working from 2014-2016 on "The Role of the International Judge and Arbitrator in the 21st Century". Her project is supported by a grant from the Marsden Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Caroline holds an LLM (first class) and PhD from the University of Cambridge, and supervises research at the Honours, Masters and Doctoral level.