climate justice

Ensuring Climate Justice in the Asia Pacific


The Institute is supporting the Asia Pacific Judicial Colloquium on Climate Change that will be held in Lahore, Pakistan on February 26-27, 2018. This is tied to RWI’s regional work in Asia on human rights and the environment and is focused on ensuring climate justice in the Asia Pacific.

Above photo: UN Women: Ryan Brown

The objective of the colloquium is to assist and build capacity of judges in Asia Pacific in applying environmental constitutionalism to achieve climate justice.  The judicial colloquium will assemble senior judges from across Asia Pacific and other legal stakeholders — government, prosecutors, civil society, academicians — to discuss the role of the judiciary in advancing environmental rights and climate justice.

“The colloquium provides a unique opportunity for judges across the Asia Pacific to discuss the link between constitutionalism, climate change and human rights, based on the regional context,” says Helena Olsson, director of RWI’s Regional Asia office in Jakarta. “The input from speakers and discussion is expected to give useful insights that we expect can be built on in activities with judges and other stakeholders in the RWI programme over the next years.”

The colloquium is part of a larger programme under the leadership of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Professor John H. Knox. It also takes place within the framework of ongoing technical assistance by the Asian Development Bank on supporting judges in the Asia-Pacific region, under the Asian Judges Network on Environment (AJNE), to develop judicial capacity for adjudicating climate change and sustainable development issues.

RWI’s affiliated professor Sumudu Atapattu, (left) who has been engaged in RWI courses and research on human rights and the environment in the Asia Pacific since 2015, will be one of the speakers, and Deputy Director Rolf Ring will be one of the panelists in the closing session.

RWI is also supporting the event through reference materials, in particular the creation of a pamplet communicating Professor Knox’s Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment. They are the culmination of five years of work in his role as the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

John Knox on far right

”I encourage States, international organizations, business enterprises, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and all others committed to safeguarding human rights and the environment to disseminate and publicize the Framework Principles, and to take them into account in their own activities,” says Knox.