Judiciary

 

IUCN Commission on Environmental Law Judiciary Specialist Group - Activities Report 2003

IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal Fact Sheet - IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal Application Sheet


'JUDICIARY DAY' - 16-17 November 2004

The IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (CEL) has created a Specialist Group on the Judiciary, Chaired by the Hon Justice Paul Stein AM. The Commission and Specialist Group, with the support of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, held a major event to showcase the role of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law, focused on the role of judges with respect to the environment, human rights and poverty. This event, which commenced with a reception on the afternoon of the 16th November and continued on the 17th, included debate on the links between environment, poverty and human rights, judicial capacity building, the ethics of judging, public interest litigation and whether the courts have a role in "judicial activism".

IUCN Environmental Law Programme (ELP) has recognized the great challenges and critical role of the judges in the development, enforcement and compliance with environmental law. It has worked with its many partners to organize and contribute to initiatives in order to support judicial capacity building at a national, regional and global level, to create a global network of judges and to promote the role of the judiciary in environmental law and sustainable development. This event highlighted the role of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law with respect to the environment, human rights and poverty.

The President and Director General of IUCN extended personal invitations to judges proposed by the Specialist Group to participate as speakers or panellists in 'Judiciary Day'. Justice Stein also extended a warm invitation to all interested judges and non-judges to attend and actively contribute to the outcomes of 'Judiciary Day'.

Proceedings from 'Judiciary Day' will be published in the IUCN ELP Policy and Law Series.

To view the draft programme for 'Judiciary Day' click here
For instructions for speakers on 'Judiciary Day' click here

SYMPOSIUM 6-8 DECEMBER 2004: THE JUDICIARY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

An international symposium comparing judicial practice in Canada, the USA, Mexico and other selected countries, was held at the New York State Judicial Institute from 6-8 December 2004.

To view the draft programme click here


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FIRST NORTH AMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON THE JUDICIARY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
12 December 2004

Judges from across Canada, Mexico and USA gathered at the NYS Judicial Institute in White Plains, New York, on December 6-8, 2004 for the first Judicial Symposium on the Judiciary & Environmental Law held in North America. Many environmental law issues affecting the courts in North America were discussed, including the evolution of the "public trust" doctrine, the use of international norms in domestic courts, the impact of decisions by international trade arbitration panels on state and provincial courts, and developments in the law involving biotechnology. More than 40 judges and experts compared how these and other issues are handled in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, England, Mexico, as well as several States in the USA. The event was hosted by the Pace University Law School and the New York State Judicial Institute, and co-sponsored by IUCN - The World Conservation Union, UNEP and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, along with the New York State Judicial Institute, the National Judicial Institute of Canada and the American Bar Association's Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Section. Participants included Justice Paul Stein AM, Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (CEL) Judiciary Specialist Group and Prof. Nicholas Robinson, former Chair of CEL.

JUDGES AND THE RULE OF LAW - CREATING THE LINKS - ENVIRONMENT, HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY
17 November 2004

The 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress has got off to an flying start with IUCN Commission on Environmental Law Judiciary Day attracting judges and practitioners from across the globe, along with representatives of UNEP, UNDP, FAO, The World Bank Institute, The World Bank and leading NGOs working in the area. Judiciary Day analyzed and showcased the role of the judiciary in upholding the rule of law, focusing on the role of judges with respect to the links between environment, human rights and poverty - something that has not gained a lot of focused attention from the perspective of the role of the judiciary. Judiciary Day provided the space for this timely debate, while also addressing judicial capacity building, the ethics of judging, public interest litigation and whether the courts have a role in "judicial activism" - critical issues to all of us with an interest in the importance to society of the rule of law and its role in conservation. The wisdom of the deliberations will not be lost - rather it will be captured in a publication to follow the event in the IUCN Environmental Law Programme series.

For more information on the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and the Congress click here (deactivated).

CHAIR OF JUDICIARY SPECIALIST GROUP ADDRESSES BANGKOK AND KATHMANDU SYMPOSIA
23 July 2004

Chair of the IUCN CEL Specialist Group on the Judiciary, Justice Paul Stein attended a Regional Workshop on the Role of the Judiciary in Promoting Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Thailand in late June 2004. The Symposium was organised by the World Bank Institute with the cooperation of UNESCAP, UNEP and the IUCN. Justice Stein delivered the Keynote Address on the Role of the Judiciary in Sustainable Development - progress, obstacles and current initiatives. He spoke about the critical importance of Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, its implementation, enforcement and development. In particular, Justice Stein stressed the intimate connection between the content of environmental law and the alleviation of poverty and the upholding of human dignity. From Bangkok Justice Stein proceeded to Kathmandu in Nepal for the South Asian Interaction on Environmental Justice and Equity. This event was organised by the Nepal Forum for Justice in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Nepal. Justice Stein presented a paper on Specialist Environmental Courts - are there lessons for developing countries? At the close of proceedings the assembled judges issued the Kathmandu Declaration.

Full story
The Kathmandu Declaration

EU FORUM OF JUDGES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ESTABLISHED
29 March 2004

On 28 February last, the "EU Forum of Judges for the Environment - Forum de l'UE des juges pour l'environnement" was established. It is an international non-profit association according to Belgian law. The initiators are Guy Canivet, First President of the Supreme Court (France), Amedeo Postiglione, Justice at the Supreme Court (Italy), Lord Justice Robert Carnwath, Royal Courts of Justice (London), and Luc Lavrysen, Judge at the Court of Arbitration (Brussels). The Forum will be officially presented on 26 April next at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Thanks to the support of European Commissioner Margot Wallström and the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission, some 50 judges and observers from the 15 current and 10 acceding Member States of the European Union could be invited. In addition, judges from the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and from a few candidate Member States (Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey) were invited to attend the first general meeting.

Full story English / French / Dutch
London Judges Symposium - Rome Judges Symposium

SPECIALIST GROUP ON THE JUDICIARY ON THE MOVE
26 Februay 2004

The IUCN Commission on Environmental Law Specialist Group on the Judiciary met from 15 to 18 February at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. High on the agenda were discussions as to the preferred composition of the Group and its terms of reference. Among the many topics discussed was the planning for the North American Regional Judges Conference on Environmental Law scheduled for late November/early December 2004 in New York. Also planned were proposals for an environmental law forum on 17 November 2004 during the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Bangkok. The forum will include a wide range of speakers, including many judges from around the world. The intention is to draw wide attention to the crucial role of the judiciary in the field of environmental law and the need for national States to support judicial capacity building programmes, judicial independence and integrity.

Full story to be included in next IUCN ELP Newsletter, May 2004.

JUDGES FROM EAST AND WEST AFRICA MEET IN NAIROBI
21 October 2003

Honourable Chief Justices and senior judges from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia and Uganda met in Nairobi, Kenya on 10-11 October 2003 at the UNEP Chief Justices Meeting of East and West African Countries under the chairmanship of the Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Justice Johnson Evan Gicheru. The purpose of the meeting was to develop national, sub-regional and regional programmes of work for the implementation of the UNEP Global Judges Symposium, within the framework of subsequent Governing Council decisions. Dr Eldad Tukahirwa, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern Africa, attended the meeting for IUCN as apart of the ongoing collaboration between UNEP and IUCN in working with the judiciary.

Find the 'Nairobi Statement' adopted at the October 10-11 meeting here
For more information on international initiatives to engage the judiciary click here

JUECES Y FISCALES DE AMERICA LATINA SE REUNEN EN BUENOS AIRES
8 Octubre 2003

Como parte del Programa Aplicación y Cumplimiento de la Normativa Ambiental, la FARN (Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), junto al PNUMA, al Instituto del Banco Mundial y al Instituto Derecho por un Planeta Verde, organizó en Buenos Aires un Simposio de Jueces y Fiscales. Durante tres días, los participantes (jueces, fiscales y expertos en derecho ambiental de América Latina y los Estados Unidos) se reunieron en plenarios y talleres para analizar, discutir y proponer soluciones a algunos de los problemas más críticos de la aplicación de la normativa ambiental en Latinoamérica. El Programa de Derecho Ambiental de la UICN, como miembro del Grupo Asesor, participó en este evento. El Dr. Alejandro Iza del Centro de Derecho Ambiental de la UICN presentó el Portal Judicial de UICN y PNUMA, lanzado en el Simposio del PNUMA sobre Jueces en la Cumbre de Johannesburgo.

Para mayor información sobre este evento click aquí.
English version

JUDGES OF CENTRAL/EASTERN EUROPE, CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA MEET IN LVIV
20 May 2003

From 16-17 May, 15 Chief Justices and other senior judges from Supreme and Constitutional Courts from 11 countries of Central/Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, together with other judges and experts from across the globe, met in Lviv, Ukraine to advance the implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, insofar as it relates to the role of the judiciary in achieving sustainable development. The symposium considered regional and comparative case studies, together with issues relating to 'the Aarhus Convention', human rights and environment, Constitutional environmental rights, the potential role of specialist environment courts, and the ability of judges to exchange judgements through using the IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal. The Symposium was sponsored by IUCN, UNEP and EcoPravo-Lviv, with the support of the State Judicial Administration of Ukraine and the Judicial Academy of Ukraine, and is part of an ongoing initiative of IUCN and UNEP to work with judges from all regions of the world to enhance capacity to implement and enforce environmental laws. The Lviv Symposium followed recent global symposia held in Johannesburg and Nairobi and regional symposia held in London and Rome.

Lviv Conference Programme - English - Russian
'Lviv Statement' - English - Russian
'Rome Statement'
'London Bridge Statement'

EUROPEAN JUDGES TAKE NEXT STEPS
12 May 2003

Judges and experts from various countries in Europe and from across the globe met in Rome on 9-10 May to advance the implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, insofar as it relates to the role of the judiciary in achieving sustainable development, and the UNEP Global Judicial Symposium and to further progress the recommendations made at the IUCN/UNEP European Judges Symposium held in London in October last year. The Rome Symposium had a strong substantive focus, in particular on human rights and environment. Specific outcomes included the first meeting of the European Judges Forum and the IUCN CEL Judicial Specialist Group, further support for the IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal and consideration of the content of the UNEP Judges Handbook. For the full outcome see the 'Rome Statement'.

'Rome Statement'
Agenda
Papers and Contributions
Participants

IUCN UNEP JUDICIAL PORTAL WINS JUDGES SUPPORT
6 February 2003

Following two days of meetings in Nairobi (see story below) twenty six Chief Justices and senior judges from around the world have expressed their support for the IUCN UNEP Judicial Portal as a means of facilitating the exchange of environmental law judgements and information amongst judges. During his presentation on the outcomes of the Nairobi meeting to the Plenary Session of the UNEP Governing Council (see below), the Honourable Chief Justice of South Africa, Arthur Chaskalson, took the opportunity to specifically inform the Council of the judges support for the use and further development of the Portal. The Judicial Portal was designed by the IUCN ELC with the assistance of Justice Paul Stein AM as part of a joint initiative with UNEP. The Portal was launched during the UNEP Global Judges Symposium held last year and it is the world's first Internet based means for judges from around the world to communicate with one another and to share environmental law judgements and information. For more information on the IUCN UNEP Judicial Portal click here (deactivated). Find IUCN's Background Paper for the Nairobi follow up meeting here.

JUDGES MEET IN NAIROBI TO FOLLOW UP ON GLOBAL JUDGES SYMPOSIUM
6 February 2003

From 30-31 January twenty six Chief Justices and senior judges from around the world met at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi to follow up on the outcomes of the UNEP Global Judges Symposium. The meeting also considered the outcomes from previous judicial symposia, including the recent regional meetings held in London (for Western Europe) and Kuwait (for the Arab Region), both of which were either sponsored or co-sponsored by IUCN and UNEP. At the invitation of the Chief Justice, several observers, including IUCN, attended the meeting and were invited to directly share their views with the judges on the best way forward. Chief Justice Chaskalson reported on the outcomes of the meeting to the Civil Society Forum and the Plenary Session of the Governing Council of UNEP on 2 and 3 February respectively and copies of his reports will be made available when they are publicly released. IUCN was represented at the Nairobi meeting by the Chair of CEL and the Head of the ELP, and the CEL Regional Vice Chair for Eastern Europe was also in attendance. Find reports of previous symposia here (deactivated) and find UNEP here. Find IUCN's intervention on the Nairobi follow up meeting here. Statement of the Chair of IUCN-CEL find here.

JUDGES FROM THE ARAB REGION MEET IN KUWAIT
5 November 2002

More than 50 Judges from Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Yemen (together with a judge from Australia) met in Kuwait from 26-28 October for the first Conference on the Role of the Judiciary in the Development of Environmental Law in the Arab Region. The event was hosted by the State of Kuwait, represented by the Ministry of Justice (Kuwait Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies), in cooperation with the Arab Regional Center for Environmental Law, the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and UNEP. Issues addressed during the conference included the need for specialized environment courts and the importance of environmental education for law students and for the judiciary. The conference was addressed by Professor Nicholas Robinson, Chair of CEL, about the ongoing efforts of IUCN and UNEP to actively engage the judiciary from around the world. Find Professor Robinson's speech here.

EUROPEAN JUDGES MEET TO ADVANCE WSSD OUTCOMES
14 October 2002

From 10-11 October 2002 judges from across Europe met with judges and scholars from across the globe to take initial steps in advancing the implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, insofar as it relates to the role of the judiciary in achieving sustainable development. The topics addressed by the Symposium included the ability of citizens to obtain access to the courts, the pros and cons of establishing specialist environment courts, the principal features of environmental rights and liabilities in Europe, and the role of judges in developing the law. The Symposium, which was convened by the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, was opened by Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Speakers included the Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP, UK Minister of the Environment, Justice Mahla Pearlman, Professor Nicholas Robinson, CEL Chair, Donald Kaniaru, Director UNEP, and Professor Andrew Waite, Berwin Leighton Paisner. The Symposium agreed by acclamation to the 'London Bridge Statement', which will guide future work in carrying forward the results of the meeting.

'London Bridge Statement'

EUROPEAN JUDGES COMMEND IUCN/UNEP JUDICIAL PORTAL
14 October 2002

Judges from across Europe, meeting with judges and scholars from across the globe at the European Judicial Symposium, (see story above) have commended the development of the IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal. Following a presentation of the Judicial Portal, which was officially launched by the Hon Justice Paul Stein AM at the UNEP Global Judges Symposium held In Johannesburg in August, the European Judicial Symposium agreed to: "Commend the development of the IUCN/UNEP Judicial Portal by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre as an innovative and effective means to facilitate communication on environmental law amongst judges, and in particular the sharing of judgements, and to encourage judges from across Europe to participate actively in the Portal." In his opening remarks, Lord Chief Justice Woolf expressed his delight at the development of the Portal, which he said will help judges communicate across different jurisdictions and show how the law can evolve in a helpful and constructive way. Find more information about the Judicial Portal click here (deactivated).

WORLD'S FIRST JUDICIAL PORTAL LAUNCHED
19 August 2002

The world's first Internet based means for judges from around the world to communicate with one another, and to share environmental law judgements and information, has been launched by Justice Paul Stein AM at the UNEP Global Judges Symposium, Johannesburg, South Africa on 19 August. The Judicial Portal has been created to progress the collective efforts of UNEP and IUCN to help create a global network of judges. Justice Stein praised the efforts of IUCN ELC in developing the Portal and together with Dr Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, commended the collaborative efforts of UNEP and IUCN to help create a global network of judges. "The Portal will enable judges from around the world to exchange information on environmental law relevant to their decision making and will create an up to date global data bank of environmental law cases available to all judges" said Justice Stein. For a copy of the Judicial Portal Fact Sheet and Application Sheet click here.



Principal author: John Scanlon. Last updated: 12 January 2004

 

 

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