Poto, Margherita Paola

Research Professor, Faculty of Law

Job description

Margherita Paola Poto is a Research Professor at the Faculty of Law, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway and has taught for more than 20 years at the University of Turin, Italy. She obtained her LLM degree in Law from the University of Turin in 2001, and in 2006 completed her Ph.D. in Public and Constitutional Law at the University of Pavia’s Department of Political Sciences.  

Having coordinated more than 30 international research projects worldwide, she focuses her research and academic activities along internationally acknowledged research lines, moving from a unidisciplinary approach (law) to cross-disciplinary, co-created, and community-based research. Her work critically reflects on the colonialism of knowledge production, explores the integration of science and indigenous knowledge, and addresses the gap between science and law. Her teaching portfolio includes innovative approaches to administrative law, indigenous methodology, public law for economics, critical legal thinking, as well as ethics and fraud. She has published more than 170 scholarly works, including 10 books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in top journals. Admitted to the Bar in Turin, Italy, in 2004, Margherita Poto is also a lawyer who has served as a legal consultant for international organizations, such as the International Training Center of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank.  


Since 2021, she has been coordinating the Project: An Exchange Program on Empathy, Compassion and Care in Water Governance from the Perspective of Integral Ecology (ECO_CARE, HKDIR Utforsk 2021-2024): https://en.uit.no/project/ecocare

Moreover, together with Mathilde Morel, she is currently involved in the research project SECURE Novel Marine Resources for Food Safety and Food Security (P.I. Edel Elvevoll): https://uit.no/research/seafood/project?pid=667623


  • Anna Malandrino, Margherita Paola Poto, Elena Demichelis :
    The State of Exception and its Effects on Civil Liberties in Italy During the COVID-19 Crisis
    John Wiley & Sons 2023
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    How to Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition by Protecting Environment and Human Health: Solutions from Administrative Environmental Law and A Case Study Addressing the Sustainability Challenges within the framework of the Agenda 2030/Raggiungere la sicurezza alimentare tutelando l’ambiente e la salute umana: risposte dal diritto amministrativo ambientale e soluzioni concrete alle sfide della sostenibilità nel quadro dell’Agenda 2030
    Nuove Autonomie 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    La tutela costituzionale dell'ambiente, della biodiversita' e degli ecosistemi, anche nell'interesse delle future generazioni
    Responsabilita' Civile e Previdenza 2022 ARKIV
  • Giulia Parola, Loyuá Ribeiro Fernandes Moreira DA COSTA, Margherita Paola Poto :
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Emily Murray :
    The New Horizons of Law and Science through the lens of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development. Some Emerging Issues
    Environmental Policy and Law 2022 DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Chapter 3.17 Eastern Africa. In: Food Regulation around the World, chapter 16, pp. 1-10
    Elsevier 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone :
    Co-creazione della ricerca e del sapere nel sistema dell’ecologia integrale
    Nordicum-Mediterraneum 2022 ARKIV / DOI
  • Endalew Lijalem Enyew, Margherita Paola Poto, Apostolos Tsiouvalas :
    Beyond Borders and States: Modelling Ocean Connectivity According to Indigenous Cosmovisions
    Arctic Review on Law and Politics 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    A systemic approach for sustainability Challenges related to the ocean
    Universitetet i Bergen 2021
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Salvare la Nostra Casa Comune e' l'Affaire du Siècle
    Responsabilita' Civile e Previdenza 2021
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone :
    The steady ascent of environmental and climate justice: constituent elements and future scenarios
    Responsabilita' Civile e Previdenza 2021
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Annegret Kuhn, Apostolos Tsiouvalas, Kara Kathleen Hodgson, Valentina Montoya Treffenfeldt, Christine M. Beitl :
    Knowledge Integration and Good Marine Governance: A Multidisciplinary Analysis and Critical Synopsis
    Human Ecology 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Edel O. Elvevoll, Monica Alterskjær Sundset, Karl-Erik Eilertsen, Mathilde Morel, Ida-Johanne Jensen :
    Suggestions for a systematic regulatory approach to ocean plastics
    Foods 16. September 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone :
    A Co-Created Methodological Approach to Address the Relational Dimension of Environmental Challenges: When Critical Legal Analysis Meets Illustrated Storytelling
    Sustainability 2021 ARKIV / DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Environmental Law and Governance: the helicoidal pathway of participation. A study of a nature-based model inspired by the Arctic, the Ocean, and Indigenous View
    G. Giappichelli Editore 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Eva Julia Lohse :
    Coproduction of knowledge in Climate Governance
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, E. Murray, V. Russo :
    Follow Your Heart. The school for multipotentialites.
    Aracne editrice 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Giulia Parola :
    Tarumã, As águas que falam. Um projeto co-criado de legal design e visual law por estudantes de direito e o povo Chiquitano: o caso da poluição do Rio Tarumã e os reflexos no povo Chiquitano
    Aracne editrice 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Giulia Parola :
    Tarumã, the waters that speak. A Legal Design and Visual Law Project, Co-created by Law Students and the Chiquitano People: The Pollution of the Tarumã River and Its Consequences for the Chiquitano People.
    Aracne editrice 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Anna Malandrino, Elena Demichelis :
    The State of Exception and its Effects on Civil Liberties in Italy During the COVID-19 Crisis
    John Wiley & Sons 2023
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Co-creating Ecological Knowledge
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Giulia Parola, Rodrigo de Souza Tavares :
    Law and Emotions: Empathy Compassion Care and Law
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Thinking about Ocean Governance: By Whom, for Whom?
    Brill|Nijhoff 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    A multisensory experience from the Ocean Space A COLLABORATION BETWEEN AKMA2 OCEAN SENSES &ECOCARE/SECURE
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Food security, food safety and food soveregnty through a global lens
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Co-creating ecological knowledge: Ocean Senses Workshop
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Olena Peftieva, Juliana Hayden, Arianna Porrone, Giuliana Panieri :
    A dialogue on environmental peacebuilding between Mariupol State University and UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Unthinking Western-centric Approaches to Law and Research
  • Olena Peftieva, Margherita Paola Poto :
    A Story About Knowledge
  • Giuliana Panieri, Stefan Bünz, Alessandra Savini, Andre Jensen, Bjørn Løfquist, Bjørn Runar Olsen et al.:
    CAGE-22-2 Scientific Cruise Report. AKMA 2/Ocean Senses
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Unthinking Western Legal Approaches for the Protection of the Ecosystem
  • Violeta S. Radovich, Eva Julia Lohse, Margherita Paola Poto :
    CHAPTER IX Case study: exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons at the sea in Argentina – is knowledge co-created or only a non-binding formal requirement?
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone, Juliana Hayden-Nygren :
    CHAPTER II Knowledge co-creation as a methodological approach: participatory approaches to environmental legal research
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Emily Murray, Margherita Paola Poto :
    CHAPTER IV Co-creation of educational spaces and curricula to develop an ecology of participation: an example from Follow Your Heart
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Felix Odhiambo Otieno, Eva Julia Lohse, Margherita Paola Poto :
    CHAPTER VII Co-production of knowledge in Kenya’s climate change arena: the case of the Mijikenda Community’s Kaya Forest Preservation System
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Jane E. N. Murungi, Joyce Nairesia Lesegi, Eva Julia Lohse, Margherita Paola Poto :
    CHAPTER VI Climate change related disputes in North Kenya: how Kenya’s Alternative Justice Systems could utilize co-production of knowledge to curb pastoral violence
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Eva Julia Lohse, R. Omondi Owino :
    CHAPTER I: Introduction – Mapping Co-production of Knowledge
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Giulia Parola, Silvano Chue Muquissai, Margherita Paola Poto :
    CHAPTER III A co-created project of Legal Design and Visual Law applied to International Environmental Law: transformation of the Escazú Agreement and Environmental Access Rights into visual materials for and with the Chiquitano People
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Elia Mwanga, Gebby Gonza, Margherita Paola Poto, Eva Julia Lohse :
    CHAPTER VIII Missing the mark in law: creating a sustainable legal and policy framework for Indigenous Knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Tanzania
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Juliana Hayden-Nygren, Adele Owens, Andrew Morrison, Kate Blackburn :
    CHAPTER V Co-creation of knowledge for the governance of the commons: literature review and a case study on ‘Community Conversations’, a Wiltshire Council’s Project Initiative
    Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag 2022
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Giulia Parola :
    Oppstartsseminar UTFORSK 2020
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Elise Johansen :
    Modelling Ocean Connectivity
    Arctic Review on Law and Politics 2021 DOI
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Food Security and Food Safety in a Global Perspective
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone :
    Co-creazione di saperi in diritto e studi globali
  • Arianna Porrone, Margherita Paola Poto, Valentina Russo :
    A Story About Knowledge. Illustrated version
    Aracne editrice 2021
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Water Governance Through Empathy, Compassion, and Care
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Arianna Porrone, Giulia Parola :
    Co-creation of ecological knowledge through illustrated storytelling
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Stefano Duglio :
    Re-evaluate water governance: A cross model between law and management
  • Margherita Paola Poto, Giulia Parola :
    New Horizons of Administrative Law ECO_CARE and the Agenda 2030
  • Margherita Paola Poto :
    Management and Regulation

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    1.     Personal information
    First name, Surname
    Margherita Paola, Poto
    Date, Place of birth
    6 August 1978, Torino, Italy
    Nationality; Languages
    Nationality: Italian; Language skills: Italian (Native); English (C2); French (C1); German/Spanish (B2); Dutch (B1), Norwegian (B2). Elements: Kiswahili, Aramaic, Mandarin
    2.     Education
    Faculty/department - University/institution – Country
    Dr. Juris (Ph.D.) in Public Law, University of Pavia, Italy.
    LLM European Public Law Centre, Legrena, Greece (best thesis award)
    LLM Unito, Italy (High Specialization for Legal Professions; scholarship for best entrance exam)
    Bachelor Studies in Philosophy, Unito, Italy (History of Philosophy/ Religions, German Literature, Music)
    LLM Unito, Italy (summa cum laude; best academic career award, scholarship for merits)
    High School Diploma in Classical Studies, Turin (State Exam grade: 60/60; Greek, Latin, Philosophy)
    3.     Positions - current and previous
    Job title – Employer – Country
    Research Professor – Faculty of Law – UiT The Arctic University of Norway - Norway
    Postdoc at the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea - NCLOS (formerly JCLOS) – UiT – Norway
    Professore II fascia in Diritto Amministrativo- Unito– Italy
    Assistant Professor Administrative Law, Unito (National habilitation for professorship: 2013) – Italy
    Legal Counsel in Food Law -Précon Food Management BV - The Netherlands
    Postdoctoral Researcher in Food Law - Wageningen University - The Netherlands
    Post-Doc in Public Law - Max Planck Institute International Law, Heidelberg – Germany
    External consultant in Law - ITC ILO – Torino – Italy
    Attorney –Private Law Firm –Torino- Italy (Admission to the bar as lawyer trainee: 2001; State exam: 2004; Admission to the Registry of Attorney/Professors in law, Court of Appeal of Torino: 2008-2019)
    Research Fellow in Administrative Law –University of Turin – Italy
    4.     Career breaks
    Maternity leave

    5.     Membership of Professional Bodies

    Albo Professionale Ordine Avvocati Torino 2004-2008 (Professional Register: Attorney admitted to the Bar); Albo Professional Ordine Avvocati Torino –Sezione Speciale Professori Universitari 2008-2019 (Professional Register for Lawyers with the Qualification as University Professors)

    6.     Fellowships, Awards, Mobility
    YoungCAS Fellow Award for Talented Young Scholars, CAS, Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo, Norway (2018)

    International Visiting Scholar at University of Victoria, BC, CA (Terje and Valerie Stadler Jacobsen Research Award 2017), Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China (Marie Curie 2010-2012); American University, Washington College of Law (2010); Hong Kong University (2007-2008), MPIL, Heidelberg (DAAD 2006; WWP Ongoing Researcher Award 2016), BICL, London (FP6, EU 2004-2005)

    Scholarship and Best Thesis Award for the LLM in Public Law, EPLO, Greece (2006-2007)

    Best Academic Career Award, Turin, Italy (Optime, Unione Industriale, 2001.

    7.     Project management experience
    PROJECT EXPERIENCE: In the past 20 years I have developed extensive research and academic experience worldwide, first working as a project assistant and then progressively as a team leader and principal investigator in internationally funded research projects, in cooperation with academic institutions, research institutes, international organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, with a funding track record of more than n. 30 projects. Host institutions and project partners included Universities in Italy, EU and associated countries (mainly Norway), Eastern Asia (China, Hong Kong), sub-Saharan Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone), Canada, and the U.S., as well as international organizations such as the International Training Center of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO), the World Bank, and the OECD.

    AREAS OF RESEARCH: My research and academic activity have been focusing on internationally acknowledged research lines, moving from a uni-disciplinary approach (law) to cross-disciplinary, co-created and community-based research, critically reflecting on colonialism on knowledge production, exploring participatory approaches to environmental governance, integration of science and indigenous knowledge, as well as addressing the gap between science and law through science informed decision-making processes. In particular, in my early years of research in comparative administrative law, I have been looking into the governance of sensitive sectors (food, environment, financial sector, health), arguing on the need to provide evidence-formed decision-making processes, limiting the discretionary powers of the public administration, and in general addressing the gap between science and law through participation, community-engaged reflections and co-creation. Since my postdoctoral experience in food law (Wageningen University, WUR), and then in Arctic Governance (UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø) I have been collaborating with interdisciplinary teams of researchers, working with food scientists, then policymakers, marine biologists, paleontologists, experts in geosciences, and representatives of local and indigenous communities. From this experience, I developed an understanding of the importance to find a common ground for natural and social scientists, policymakers and local communities to create integrated responses to complex environmental challenges. In parallel with the research activities, in the early years of my research, I have developed more than ten years’ experience as a legal counsel (State exam with registration to the bar association in 2004), supporting farmers’ and fishers’ organizations and their capacities to generate knowledge and promoting local farming and climate-smart agricultural practices for climate-resilient food systems (Précon Food Bunnik, The Netherlands; Précon Egypt; Précon Sierra Leone; Wageningen UR; Rwanda and Ethiopia, ITC-ILO; World Development Bank).

    Project owner - Project - Role – Funder
    University of Bayreuth - An Innovative Partnership and Methods for Knowledge Co-Production in Water Governance. The case study of the Gesso Stura Natural Park. – Co P.I. – DAAD (19k euro)
    University of Turin, Department of Linguistics - ELI_Lab: Environmental Literacy Initiative: A Laboratory on Storytelling. An initiative of Public Engagement – Team Member – University of Turin (5k euro)
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Department of Geosciences – AKMA2 Ocean Senses Expedition – Team Member – INTPART 2019-2023 and Strategiske Midler Faculty of Law - P.I. G. Panieri, endorsed by UN Ocean Decade. Website: https://akma-project.com/akma2-oceansenses (10k nok)
    University of Bayreuth - Co-production of knowledge in climate governance – Co-P.I.- University of Bayreuth and Centre of International Excellence Alexander von Humboldt (P.I. E. Lohse) (10 k euro)
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway – PES Horizon Europe - Support for Project Establishment and Positioning – P.I. – Norwegian Research Council (300 k nok)
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway – An Exchange Program on Empathy Compassion and Care in Water Governance – P.I. - UTFORSK HKDIR 2021-2024 (Norway-Brazil) (3 M nok)
    University of Otago - Coastal People: Southern Skies. The vision of Coastal People: Southern Skies is flourishing wellness (mauri ora) of coastal communities. Their mission is to connect, understand and restore coastal ecosystems of New Zealand and the Pacific through transformative research, local action and by unlocking potential through new opportunities and pathways to learning – Role: International Expert in Indigenous Law and Water - Tertiary Education Commission, NZ (32.25 M NZD)
    Sami Research Group UiT - Governance of Land and Natural Resources in Sápmi, a legal approach (GoSapmi, P.I. Ø.Ravna) - WP 1 Leader on Interaction between international indigenous rights, obligations, and implementation at the national level – Norwegian Research Council: Researcher Project Transformative Research Project, Forsker20 (8 M nok)
    UiT - SECURE Novel Marine Resources for Food Security and Food Safety, BFE, Helsefak, Jurfak – Main Legal Investigator and WP Leader – UiT (30 M nok)
    NCLOS - Rethinking the spatial architecture of the law of the sea and ocean governance – WP1 Leader – NCLOS, UiT (20 k nok)
    JCLOS UiT - The role of the Arctic Council as a player in the global arena to safeguard and protect marine biodiversity – P.I. – K.G. Jebsen Foundation (30 M nok)
    DFG - Nachhaltigkeit durch Partizipation? Internationale, europäische und rechtsvergleichende Perspektiven -Study on participation and sustainability – Team member – DFG (46.09 k euro)
    DNSZ – Seed Money - Integrating local knowledge in marine resource governance – co-P.I.- Deutsch-Norwegisches Studien Zentrum (DNSZ) (2.94 k euro)
    YoungCAS for Talented Scholars- Indigenous law and Methodology – P.I.- CAS Oslo (150 K nok)
    UiT– Indigenous Law - Visiting Fellow at ILRU, Victoria, Ca - Stadler Jacobsen Research Fund (50 K nok)
    DAAD - Protection of water by law – Coinvestigator - DAAD, Bonn, Germany (25 k euro)
    UfU- Die Umweltverbandsklage in der rechtspolitischen Debatte – co-P.I.- Federal Ministry of Environment, Germany (30 k euro)
    Unito- Right and access to water in a context of international development in Tanzania- Students supervisor -  Progetti UniCoo Mobilita’ III bando Unito (10.2 keuro)
    DAAD - Participatory Rights- Århus Convention – Co P.I.– DAAD (25 k euro)
    World Bank and PFMR (Basket Fund), Twinning Arrangement to Develop Capacity at the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) to meet Rwanda Training needs in Procurement - Team leader Rwanda– World Bank and ITC-ILO (1.3 M euro)
    Precon Food Management - EU Export Market Certification of Sierra Leone. Fishery and Marine Products – Legal counsel - Government of Sierra Leone (2.6 M euro)
    Unito - Evaluating Policies for Sustainable Energy Investments: towards an integrated approach on the national and international stage (EPSEI) – Team member on environmental participation in China- Marie Curie Irses EU Commission (total project funding not disclosed)
    Precon Food Management – EDES Program COLEAPC on Developing Training Materials on Food Safety – Legal Counsel - Europe-ACP Liaison Committee (2 k euro)
    University of Perugia – Health care system (Germany) – Research Assistant – MIUR (PRIN 2007) (15 k euro)
    WUR-LEI - Requirements in International Agri-Food Trade – Research assistant - EU Project NTM, FP7 (total project funding not disclosed)
    GHI and WUR - Nano Foods: Principles-Based Responsive Regulation EFFosST – Research Assistant – Wageningen University (total project funding not disclosed)
    AICIL Tanzania – Legal Aid Program – WP Leader – US Embassy in Dar Es Salaam (2.5 k US dollar)
    Unito - Participation, access, and justice in environmental law – Team member – MIUR (PRIN 2005) (15 k euro)
    Unito – Trust in a comparative perspective – P.I. – Hong Kong University (2 k euro)
    Unito- Le competenze amministrative dopo la riforma del Titolo V della Costituzione (Administrative competence to State and Regions after constitutional reforms) – P.I.- University of Turin (96k euro)
    University of Turin - Research Grant di Ricerca scientifica applicata: La sicurezza alimentare tra Unione Europea, Stato e Regioni dopo la riforma del Titolo V della Costituzione (Food safety in EU, State and Regions after Constitutional reforms)- Regione Piemonte and FP6-EU (33 k euro)

    8.     Teaching portfolio

     In the past 21 years, I had been fortunate to obtain a wide range of teaching experiences. Since 2020, I have developed an annual interactive course (hybrid online and in-person) in Administrative Law in the framework of the Agenda 2030 (SDGs) with a special focus on the impacts of the global pandemic on administrative law, one health approaches to environmental and human challenges (Bachelor Program in Business and Management at the University of Turin, Italy); a course on Public Law for Economics (Bachelor Program Business and Management at the University of Turin, Italy), a course for Ph.D. Students on Writing and Communication Skills (UiT The Arctic University of Norway). Previously, I was appointed by Unito, Upo, WUR, and other European and international academic institutions, as an adjunct professor, senior lecturer, guest lecturer, tutor, and trainer to trainers, as well as a course designer leader, to doctoral, postgraduate, undergraduate courses, and civil servants (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Norway, Nl, Canada). Teaching subjects: innovative approaches to administrative law, public law, EU law, contract law, tort law, labor law, environmental and food law, public procurement law, ethics and fraud, public law for economics; Scandinavian legal thinking and realism. Courses on methodology: indigenous methodology, communication skills for lawyers, critical legal thinking, academic writing for Ph.D. students (Norway, Kenya, Canada). My teaching expertise covers the national, comparative, and global perspectives.

    9.     Publications
    I have 171 publications (including 12 books), of which 13 are forthcoming. A list of the most relevant publications in the last 6 years can be found here.

    10. Dissemination, communication, and outreach
    From 2003 to 2022 I contributed to the dissemination of my research results, as well as developed managerial and administrative skills by participating in, organizing, coordinating, and leading many scientific meetings, conferences, workshops (82), at national (Norwegian and Italian) and international level. 

    TEO-H4 4.323

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