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Fighting Climate Change with Human Rights Law – Advantages and Disadvantages
International environmental law and human rights law have evolved quite rapidly. While the two represent separate branches of international law, they have also intersected and intertwined. The UN and regional human rights mechanisms, civil society actors, and national courts have employed human rights analysis to impel action on environmental issues, and sometimes to channel environmental responses in accordance with other human rights principles.

As governments delay in addressing the urgent challenges of climate change, recent decisions of national courts and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have invoked human rights and constitutional rights as imperatives for action. This webinar will explore both the strengths and the weaknesses of human rights law as a vehicle to fight global climate change. In doing so, it will touch on topics such as intergenerational rights, children’s rights, judicial capacity, and nonhuman environmental interests.


Anne Orford – Visiting Professor of Law and John Harvey Gregory Lecturer on World Organization at Harvard Law School, Melbourne Laureate Professor and Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law at Melbourne Law School.

Benyam Dawit Mezmur – Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow with the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Jody Freeman – Director, Environmental and Energy Law Program, Archibald Cox Professor of Law.

Gerald L. Neuman (moderator) – Director, Human Rights Program and J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law.

The event is organized by the HLS Human Rights Program. It is cosponsored by the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, the Environmental & Energy Law Program, the Harvard Law and International Development Society, and the HLS Advocates for Human Rights.

Mar 24, 2022 12:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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