Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Team submits amicus brief highlighting responsibilities of countries under international law to address climate change

05 Mar 2024

Cornerstone Climate

The Global Strategic Litigation Council and a coalition of Caribbean civil society groups have submitted an amicus brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as part of a crucial legal effort related to discerning State obligations in relation to climate change and human rights. This submission is a response to a request for an Advisory Opinion from Chile and Colombia. The full text of the amicus brief can be accessed at this link.

They were represented by a leading team of lawyers, academics, and scientists led by Ali Al-Karim of Brick Court Chambers including: Wendy Miles KC of Twenty Essex; Dr Markus Gehring of University of Cambridge; Caroline Mair-Toby of Mair and Company; Fietta LLP; Dr Shobha Maharaj, D.Phil Oxon, Climate Scientist and Expert of Terraformation; Nina Pindham of Cornerstone Barristers; Odette Chalaby at No5 Barristers’​ Chambers; Antonia Eklund of Blackstone Chambers; Camilla Cockerill of 4 New Square Chambers; Nour Nicolas, Counsel, Foley Hoag LLP; Maria Giovanna Jumper of Cornell Law School Transnational Disputes Clinic.

The brief highlighted the responsibilities of countries under international law to address climate change. This collaborative effort seeks to amplify the perspectives and rights of Caribbean civil societies. In their brief, they urge the Court to ensure that countries are responsible for implementing effective climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. This includes measures to protect those displaced by climate-related issues, as well as guaranteeing public access to information and involvement in decision-making processes.

Should the Inter-American Court of Human Rights accept their arguments, it could result in the enactment of essential laws, policies, and frameworks by governments across Latin America and the Caribbean. Such actions are critical for reducing the human impact of climate change and safeguarding vulnerable communities, including those in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Indigenous Peoples, individuals with disabilities, women, children, and people of African descent.

About Nina

Nina Pindham is a leading environmental barrister specialising in planning applications, infrastructure, energy and biodiversity net gain. She is part of Cornerstone Climate, our centre of excellence for climate litigation and advice, and will be delivering training during Cornerstone Climate Month this May. Click here for more details.