Wewerinke Singh, Margaretha

Margaretha Wewerinke Singh is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University) and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (University of the South Pacific). She is also an Attorney at Blue Ocean Law, a boutique international law firm based in Guam specialising in human and indigenous rights, self-determination and environmental justice in the Pacific. 

Prior to joining Leiden University, Margaretha was a (Senior) Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of the South Pacific (USP) School of Law in Port Vila, Vanuatu where she coordinated USP’s environmental law programme. She is the editor of Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities (with Evan Hamman, Routledge 2020), which navigates the major environmental law and governance challenges of the present and future of the Pacific. Her other book, State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights (Hart Publishing 2019) explains when and where State action related to climate change may amount to a violation of human rights. In 2018 she received a NWO Veni-grant for her socio-legal project Climate Justice through the Courts (2019-2022), which examines the effectiveness and potential drawbacks of rights-based climate litigation.

Margaretha’s work builds on more than a decade of involvement in legal processes related to sustainable development, climate change and human rights. Amongst other things, she has acted as a legal adviser to governments at international climate change negotiations, represented NGOs at the UN Human Rights Council, and advised the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Regional Office for the Pacific on human rights and climate justice. She currently coordinates the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Specialist Group project Fighting Climate Change: A Best Practice Guide for Judges and Courts (with Sarah Mead), which will identify best practice in the adjudication of climate change identified by reference to a human rights-based approach. 

Margaretha holds a PhD in Law from the European University Institute, a European Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation from the European Inter-University Centre on Human Rights and Democratisation, a Graduate LLB from Nottingham Law School and a BA (Philosophy) and BSc (Cultural Anthropology & Development Studies) from the Radboud University. She received a Lord Justice Holker Award from the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn (London) and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2014. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and serves on the Board of the Climate Justice Fund (UK) and the Stop Ecocide Foundation (Netherlands).