René Lefeber focuses in his research on liability for environmental damage, compliance with international environmental law and the sustainable management of international areas.
The main environmental aspects of his research are climate change and the use of advanced technologies. During his career, he has gained extensive international practical experience as a chairman of multilateral negotiations on damage caused by biotechnology, and by his memberships of international committees that have been established to secure compliance with multilateral environmental agreements as well as by his representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in intergovernmental negotiations on the management of international areas.
René Lefeber studied at Leiden University andreceived his doctorate in law in 1996 for his thesis entitled Transboundary Environmental Interference and the Origin of State Liability at the University of Amsterdam .
Since 2000, René Lefeber works at the International Law Division of the Directorate of Legal Affairs of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently as the Legal Adviser and Head of the International Law Division. In these capacities, René Lefeber advises the Netherlands Government on international law, including international environmental law, and represents the Kingdom of the Netherlands in intergovernmental negotiations as well as national and international judicial procedures.
From 1994 until 2000, he worked as legal officer for the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Before he joined those Ministries, he worked as a lecturer in the field of Law of International Organizations at Leiden University and in the field of International Law at the University of Amsterdam.
René Lefeber has been Professor of International Environmental Law at ACELS since 2008. He has been a visiting professor at the University of London (1993-2004), the United Nations University (2010), and the University of Melbourne (2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018).