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ClientEarth Communications

4th January 2024

Training judges in a triple planetary crisis

The escalating impacts of climate change, nature loss and pollution are pushing the boundaries of our legal system. In the face of this triple planetary crisis, judges, as custodians of justice, find themselves adapting, innovating and leading in unprecedented ways.

In October 2023, ClientEarth contributed to the Asia Pacific Judicial Training on Environment and Climate Law Adjudication in Ciawi, Indonesia, a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the legal challenges arising from climate change and natural resource depletion. Led by the Agency for Research and Judicial Training of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia, the program was organised along with the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The event brought together over 70 judges from across Asia and featured distinguished speakers, including esteemed judges such as Justice Antonio Benjamin of Brazil (an environmental law luminary), Justice Ayesha Malik (the first female Supreme Court Judge of Pakistan), Justice Maria Filomena Singh (of the Philippines Supreme Court and Director for the Asia Pacific Region of the International Association of Women Judges), Justice Nicola Pain (longest-serving judge of the Land and Environment Court, New South Wales), Justice Faizah binti Jamaludin, (Judge of the High Court of Malaya and corporate law expert) and Justice Suntariya Muanpawong (Justice of the Appeal Court Region 2 in Thailand, environmental law champion). A delegation of Chinese judges from the Supreme People’s Court of China also joined the training and gave lectures on China’s judicial practices in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. Associate Professor Winston Chow, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II, spoke as part of a session on examining scientific evidence in climate cases. Judges explored the complexities of adjudicating environmental cases, delving into the intersection of climate science, human rights, corporate law, and emerging legal frameworks.

The attendees also visited the Meteorological Institute and the Mangrove Restoration Agency in Jakarta where they were able to see first-hand the impacts of climate change and actions taken for adaptation and mitigation. and engaged in on-site experiences to witness the impacts of climate change and mitigation efforts. The program also facilitated networking opportunities and knowledge exchange among judges, scientists, academics and practitioners.

As part of the collaborative efforts to commemorate the program and underscore commitments to environmental protection, attendees planted thirty commemorative trees at the Supreme Court’s Judicial Training Center in Ciawi, Indonesia. ClientEarth was pleased to contribute to this important program, reinforcing the crucial role of judges in delivering climate justice while working towards more effective and environmentally sustainable outcomes in courtrooms across the region.

You can catch exciting highlights from the week in a short video by visiting this link.