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School of Law

Mohammad Hazrati


PhD Student



Sustainable Use of Oil and Gas Resources: A Comparative Study of Iran, Canada and Malaysia


Professor Raphael Heffron and Professor Norah Gallagher

Summary of research

This research is intended to make recommendations for Iran to use its oil and gas resources in a more sustainable way. In order to achieve this aim, this project going to comparatively examine the legal framework, practices and policies governing the oil and gas life cycle of Iran, Canada and Malaysia, through the energy justice framework. Energy justice provides a framework for assessing the justice implications – or simply the injustices – of current policy decisions as well as making practical recommendations.

While it is commonly believed that the current energy system needs a fundamental turn towards a more sustainable and just system, with a high share of cleaner energy resources in the energy mix, this transition in the oil and gas resource-rich countries might be more complex as their higher dependency on these resources. So, uncovering injustices alongside the current their oil and gas system and restore them, is as important as planning for transition to a cleaner energy. However, following lifting sanctions in the early of 2016, Iran is increasing its oil and gas production, which revivals several serious concerns about the lack of proper and just legal and policy framework, for sustainable use of its oil and gas resource.

Two main questions of the thesis are, “Are the Iranian legal and policy frameworks, and practices, governing the oil and gas activities, consistent with energy justice principles?” and, “How can Iran use its oil and gas in a more sustainable and just way?”

Sustainable development is the fundamental value of the research and energy justice principles are the evaluation criteria for this study. The core three tenets of energy justice, namely, distributional, procedural, and recognition will be the study’s criteria for the evaluation. The legal doctrinal, socio-legal and comparative legal research, as methodologies of the thesis have been chosen. For comparative legal research, three oil and gas rich countries namely Canada, Malaysia and Iran, have been chosen. Since the aim of the comparative study is to improve the Iran’s legal and policy framework, a contextual approach is going to apply.


Mohammad Hazrati is a PhD student of the Energy and Natural Resources Institute at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Prior to joining to QMUL, Mohammad worked for several years as a legal advisor in Iran. He undertook and completed two MSc programmes, in Private Law (Iran), and Oil and Gas Law (Reading University) with distinction. He has written a book chapter, several journal articles mainly in Iranian journals, two book reviews in the Journal of World Energy Law and Business, and Journal of Energy Resource and Social Science. Mohammad Hazrati has been Research Assistant of Professor Raphael Heffron at Dundee University since September 2018.


  • Article: Mohammad Hazrati, ‘An Unclear Future for Iranian Energy Transition in Light of the Re-imposition of Sanctions’ in OGEL special issue on Energy Law and Regulation in Low-carbon and Transitional Energy Markets. (January 2019).
  • Chapter in book: Greg W. Gordon, Mohammad Hazrati, Raphael J Heffron and Darren McCauley, ‘Background of The United Kingdom (Energy Industry)’ in Eduardo G. Pereira, and Henrik Bjørnebye (eds), Regulating Offshore Petroleum Resources: The British and Norwegian Models (Edward Elgar, September 2019).
  • Chapter in book: Mohammad Hazrati and Tedd Moya Mose, ‘The Just Transition to Sustainable Energy: Is Energy Justice in the Fossil Fuel Industry a Paradox?’ In Wood, G., Baker, K.J., & Strachan, P., (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Managing Fossil Fuels and Energy Transitions (Palgrave Macmillan, November 2019).
  • Chapter in book: Raphael Heffron, and Mohammad Hazrati, ‘Energy Policy-Making in the United Kingdom’ in Patrice Geoffron, Lorna Greening and Raphael Heffron (eds.), Meeting the Paris Mandate: A Cross-national Comparison of Energy Policy-making, Springer, to be published (Springer, New York, Forthcoming, 2020).
  • Article: Mohammad Hazrati, and Frosina Antonovska, Small Island Developing States and Estoppel Principle. the QM Energy Law Institute Review (Pending, 2019).
  • Journal Article: A study of Transfer of Option in Iran’s Legal System, Journal of Legal Research Azad, Volume 17, Sep 2014, Tehran.
  • Book Review: Peter D. Cameron and Michael C. Stanley, Oil, Gas and Mining: A Source Book for Understanding the Extractive Industries, The Journal of World Energy Law and Business, Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2018, Pages 87-88.
  • Book Review: Darren McCauley, Energy Justice: Re-Balancing the Trilemma of Security, Poverty and Climate Change, Journal of Energy Resource and Social Science, volume 42, August 2018, Pages 136-137.

Academic Activities

  • Research Assistant of Professor Raphael Heffron, at Dundee University, since September 2018. (Paid Job). Assistance in the ‘Just Energy Transition’.
  • Academic Journal Reviewer of Energy Policy Since August 2018.
  • Internship (awarded, paid) at Queen Mary University of London Energy and Natural Resource Law Institute, from October 2018 to December 2018.
  • Visiting Scholar at Dundee University, February to May 2019.
  • Visiting Scholar at International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), September to November 2019. 


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