Judicial Training to Protect the Climate

Courts could play a key role in protecting the climate, but climate change cases are new to most courts.

ELAW is pleased to collaborate with partners in Indonesia, Uganda, Cameroon, and more as they host workshops for judges to exchange views and learn from experts about this critical new field of environmental law.

On Sunday, ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik Zoomed into a workshop for Southeast Asian judges co-hosted by the Supreme Court of Indonesia and partners at the Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law: “Scientific Evidence in Climate Change Litigation.”
“Judges more often now face the responsibility of making decisions in cases seeking to protect the climate,” said Mark, who joined a panel of experts who presented on the scientific questions judges should anticipate needing to answer in climate change-related litigation. “They need to know where to find the best available scientific evidence to inform correct decisions,” he added.
Last year, more than 50 Cameroonian judges participated in “Environmental Law and Litigation” workshops in the mountain city of Buea, in southwest Cameroon. This was hosted through a partnership of ELAW; the Foundation for Environment and Development (FEDEV); and Cameroon’s Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development. ELAW staff and other international experts participated remotely.
Nchunu Justice Sama, FEDEV’s Executive Director, said: “Environmental law is a new field in Cameroon and we are pleased to share our expertise.”
ELAW partners at Greenwatch in Uganda have also conducted judicial trainings. “Our 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.
We will keep you informed of our progress in the year ahead, as we help judges around the world meet the climate challenge.

Bernard Ngalim
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

IMAGE: Iconathon, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons