Advancing Climate Justice in Uganda

Samantha Atukunda K. Mwesigwa, Greenwatch Director and Legal Counsel, speaks at a workshop co-hosted by Greenwatch and the Judicial Training Institute of Uganda.

Unprecedented wildfires in the U.S. and extreme weather events around the world drive home the urgency of protecting our climate. Around the world, courts are beginning to protect the climate, so we are pleased to share work with partners who are strengthening and enforcing laws to protect the climate.
Last week, ELAW partners at Greenwatch co-hosted a two-day workshop with the Judicial Training Institute of Uganda to help judges and legal professionals get up to speed on climate litigation and how it can promote climate justice and hold governments accountable for the effects of climate change.
“The training was timely and relevant since climate change and climate justice is not a familiar concept for many Ugandans, including judicial officers whose role is pivotal in administering justice,” says Samantha Atukunda K. Mwesigwa, Greenwatch Director and Legal Counsel.
Samantha says Uganda is suffering from the effects of climate damage, including prolonged droughts, floods, and landslides, and citizens are beginning to bring climate cases to the courts.
Chief Justice Hon. Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo officiated the training and urged participants to familiarize themselves with the developing jurisprudence in climate-related adjudication, including Uganda’s commitment under the Paris Agreement. Participants included judicial officers from the Magistrate Courts, High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court.
Greenwatch tapped ELAW’s network of lawyers from around the world to connect with experienced litigants from Africa, to train the judges and share their experience and expertise.
ELAW partners at the Foundation for Environment and Development (FEDEV) in Cameroon are planning a similar judicial training in October. FEDEV is collaborating with the Greenwatch team to bring lessons learned in Uganda to Cameroon.
For more information on protecting the climate through law, visit ELAW’s Climate Litigation Strategies.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
& Fellows Program Coordinator