Jaap Spier is specialised in liability law. As Senior Associate University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, his chief objective will be to map the specific legal and moral obligations of the most important players in the public and private sector concerning global challenges such as climate change and plastic debris in the world’s oceans. The aim is to articulate these obligations in the form of ‘Principles’ together with eminent external experts. Spier also holds an honorary chair at the University of Stellenbosch (South-Africa). He is a senior fellow at the Gobal Justice Program Yale University and member of the scientific advisory board of ClimLaw Graz.
Spier was advocate general in the Dutch Supreme Court until 1 September 2016, a position he held for 19 years. He has been a honorary professor of Law and Global Challenges at the University of Amsterdam (Politics, Psychology, Law & Economics (PPLE) College) between 2016 and 2019, and honorary professor at Maastricht University until 4 March 2016. Prior to this, he was a fulltime professor at Tilburg University. Spier is the founder and honorary president of the European Group on Tort Law. In 2015, he became the co-founder of the working committee responsible for drafting the ‘Oslo Principles on Global Climate Obligations’. He has published numerous books and academic papers in the field of liability law, insurance law and private law. Since 2000, his primary focus has been on global sustainability issues, particularly climate change. Spier received his PhD at Leyden University in 1981.