SOAS University of London

Transboundary Environmental Harm and Extra-territorial Human Rights Obligations

Christoph Schwarte (Legal Response Initiative)

Date: 12 January 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 12 January 2017Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

Abstract: The extra-territorial application of existing human rights treaties to transboundary pollution, climate change and other environmental threats to and impacts on the global environment is legally contentious. Some of the most salient issues, in this respect, are likely to be at the forefront of the advisory opinion that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has been asked to deliver (by Colombia) on the interpretation and scope of certain human rights obligations (e.g. right to life and humane treatment) in the American Convention on Human Rights, within the context of the possible impact of grand scale projects on marine environment, particularly in the Greater Caribbean Region. The presentation will briefly introduce the request for an advisory opinion and then focus on state obligations under public international law. It will also make some broad suggestion on the nexus between environmental harm and human rights as well as the resulting legal consequences and potential future developments.

Christoph Schwarte is a German lawyer with almost 20 years of practical experience in different arenas of international environmental law. He is the executive director of the Legal Response Initiative – a London based charity that provides free legal advice to poor and climate vulnerable developing countries and NGOs. He is a co-author of the International Law Association’s legal principles related to climate change (adopted in 2014) and has been actively involved the international climate negotiation for many years. Before joining LRI he worked at the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Between 1998 and 2004 he was an Associate Officer at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. He holds an LLM from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and qualified to practice at the bar in November 1997 in Dresden (State of Saxony).

The seminar will take place from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Room B111, Brunei Gallery (opp. Main Building), SOAS – All Welcome

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