WEBINAR: Human Rights Strategies in Climate Change Litigation – A Latin-American Perspective

On August 5th, 2020, the GNHRE hosted the third of its webinar series, “Human Rights Strategies in Climate Change Litigation Across the Globe”. The third webinar focused on human rights and climate change litigation in Latin America, where regional and international experts will share insights from practice, policy, and scholarly perspectives.

The recording of the webinar is available here or here.

The failure of the international community to agree on more stringent climate action from states has prompted increased climate litigation, pushing for increased mitigation commitments and better adaptation to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Jurisprudence in the Global South, and particularly in Latin America, is developing rapidly and challenging our assumptions about the most fundamental questions, changing the way we think about the relationship between the states and the regional and international communities, the obligations owed by states to present and future generations, and the place of humanity in our planetary ecosystems. This webinar will broaden our knowledge and deepen our understanding about cases and trends in human rights-based climate litigation in Latin America.

Speakers:

Soledad García Muñoz is the current Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (REDESCA), from the IACHR, OAS. She has provided professional and voluntary services to different agencies of the United Nations, to Amnesty International, the Ibero-American Youth Organization, among other prestigious organizations. Before starting her tenure as Special Rapporteur, she was the regional representative for South America of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights based in Montevideo, Uruguay. She is the first holder of REDESCA’s mandate, after being elected by the IACHR in an Inter-American public competition. She graduated from the University of Alcalá de Henares and pursued her Advanced Studies in Human Rights from University Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. 

Astrid Puentes Riaño is Co-Executive Director of AIDA. She is responsible for AIDA’s legal efforts and organizational management. Originally from Colombia, Astrid has worked for AIDA since 2003, and in Mexico City since 2004. She has significant experience with public interest litigation, especially in the field of human rights and the environment, representing communities from Brazil, Mexico and Peru.  Astrid holds an LL.M. in Comparative Law from the University of Florida, a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of the Basque Country, and a J. D. from the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.

Juan Auz is an Ecuadorian attorney and a PhD candidate at the Hertie School in Berlin, where he also collaborates with its Centre for Fundamental Rights. Before this, he was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). His main research interest lies at the junction of human rights and climate change law. Juan has worked for in Ecuador as the Co-Founder of Terra Mater and Executive Director of Fundación Pachamama, both of which defend the rights of indigenous peoples in Amazonia. Juan received his LL.B. from Universidad de las Americas in Quito and LL.M. in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of CIVICUS, the IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law and the European Society of International Law (ESIL).

Monica Feria-Tinta is a barrister at the Bar of England & Wales.  She is a leading specialist advocate on public international law with over 20 years experience in international litigation (both regionally and in world litigation) and a thought-leader in climate change justice.  Monica is an expert in the Inter-American System of Human Rights where she litigated landmark cases as lead counsel.  She has also appeared/intervened in climate change-related cases before the Constitutional Courts of Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico, most recently in a case of global biodiversity importance – the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, La Linea Negra case. 

Her practice on environmental/international law cases has dealt with sea-level rise issues, sinking islands, environmental degradation, oil spills, transboundary harm, climate change as a human rights issue, environmental harm of waterways, protection of rivers, phasing-out coal mining and the enforcement of the Paris Agreement before a variety of international courts and tribunals, including ITLOs, ICJ, Investment Arbitration, UN Special Procedures, and English Courts. She is counsel in the first international case (Torres Strait Islanders v Australia) seeking remedies for climate change before the UN Human Rights Committee, in the Cerrejón case (coal mining litigation) before the UN Special Procedures, and on the Montara Oil Spill case, acting for 13 West Timor regencies.   

The Lawyer magazine featured her recently as amongst “the most daring, innovative and creative lawyers” in the United Kingdom.  She is the author of two chapters on an upcoming publication on climate change litigation by the British Institute of International & Comparative Law and the author of recent environmental law articles in the yearbook of  International Environmental Law and the Anuario Colombiano de Derecho Internacional.   Monica advises in English, Spanish and French.    

Prior to the Bar, she acquired curial experience working at the ICJ and the ICTY advising on seminal cases on genocide and crimes against humanity.  Her experience advising sovereign States includes having served as Assistant Legal Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics (1996) and The Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law (2000) and has further trained in international law in Strasbourg,  Geneva,  and Hamburg. Monica is Partner Fellow at the LCIL (University of Cambridge) and a member of IUCN, WCL.  In 2007 she was awarded the Gruber Justice Prize for her international litigation work.

The webinar will be moderated by Maria Antonia Tigre, Director of Latin America for GNHRE.