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UNSW Law Professor Rosemary Rayfuse has been appointed the new Kerstin Hesselgrens Visiting Professor.

The Kerstin Hesselgren Visiting Chair, one of the world’s most prestigious international fellowships, is awarded by the Swedish Research Council Vetenskapsrådet to an internationally recognised female researcher in the social sciences or humanities.

Professor Rayfuse is a Professor of International Law with a research focus on international environmental law and the law of the sea. She will spend up to nine months at Lund University in Sweden throughout 2017 and 2018 researching the legal implications of climate change on international fisheries, including the adequacy of international fisheries law and the regulatory innovations that may be necessary to address the challenges of changing oceans.

Professor Rayfuse, who hails from Canada, has undertaken many adventures in some of the wildest, most remote places on Earth, including the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland.

Her latest research project will continue her commitment to raising awareness of the need for international and regulatory responses to climate change. 

"It is generally considered that the current regulatory regime for international fisheries is incapable of delivering the flexible, dynamic and adaptive management needed to ensure both healthy oceans and global food security in a climate change challenged world," she said. "The importance of this project lies in the contributions it will make to the development and understanding of new mechanisms capable of providing coherent and effective, precautionary and ecosystem-based, conservation and management of international fisheries under conditions of climate uncertainty." 

The Kerstin Hesselgren Visiting Chair was established in honour of Sweden’s first female Member of Parliament (Riksdag), who was also the first woman in the International Labour Organisation and Sweden’s first delegate to the League of Nations.

Kerstin Hesselgren (1872–1962) gained recognition for her expertise in social policy and work on women's rights, as a pioneer of the women's movement, and for her commitment to the cause of international peace.