A Global Symposium on Environmental Rule of LawTuesday, 24 June 2014
Environmental law is a foundation for environmental sustainability and the full realization of its objectives is ever more urgent vis-à-vis growing environmental pressures. Violations of environmental law undermine the achievement of all dimensions of sustainable development and environmental sustainability. On the occasion of the first session of the UNEA, A Global Symposium on Environmental Rule of Law invites Chief Justices, Attorneys General, Judges, Chief prosecutors, Auditors General, leading legal scholars, practitioners and experts to discuss the ways and means by which the further development and implementation of environmental rule of law can help ensure just and sustainable development outcomes, including adequate and implementable laws, access to justice and information, public participation, accountability, transparency, liability for environmental damage, fair and just enforcement, and human rights.
"Environmental law is essential for the protection of natural resources and ecosystems and reflects our best hope for the future."
-Rio+20 Declaration on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability
Hon. Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya
The Hon. Chief Justice, Dr. Willy M. Mutunga, is the Chief Justice & President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Kenya on 16th June, 2011. He is a holder of a Doctorate Degree in Jurisprudence obtained in 1992 from Osgoode Hall law School at York University in Toronto, Canada. His area of study was Contracts. Dr. Mutunga obtained both his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania in 1971 and 1974 respectively.
Dr. Mutunga joined the University of Nairobi as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law in October 1974. While at the University of Nairobi, he served as the Secretary-General of the University Staff Union from April 1979 until July 1980 when it was banned. Dr. Mutunga was thereafter detained for 16 months (1982-3) for his activism while at the University of Nairobi and for his work at the Legal Advice Centre (Kituo Cha Sheria).
Dr. Mutunga has established and served in many civil society organizations, among them the Legal Advice Centre (Kituo Cha Sheria); the Law Society of Kenya, where he served as vice-chairman from 1991 to 1993 and chairman from 1993 to 1995; the Council for Legal Education, Kenya; the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change (4Cs); the Kenya Human Rights Commission; the East African Centre for Constitutional Development (Kituo Cha Katiba), Uganda; and the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights and Democracy) in Montreal, Canada.
For his outstanding contribution to the development of law, human rights, good governance and social justice, Dr. Mutunga has received several national and international honours and awards including: Elder of the Golden Heart for his distinguished service to the nation and for his role in leading reforms in the Judiciary under the new Constitution (2010); appointment as Senior Counsel, Government of Kenya (2003); Lifetime Achievement Award for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, (2003); the Jurist of the Year Award from the International Commission of Jurists, Kenya Section (2003); and the Law Society of Kenya Distinguished Services Award for Constitutionalism, Rule of Law and Human Rights, later named the Father Kaiser Award (1988).
Between 2004 and 2011, Dr. Mutunga wrote a column in the Sunday Nation newspaper under the pen name of Cabral Pinto. A compilation of these writings is currently being edited by Charles Onyango-Obbo.
Dr. Mutunga has published two books: The Rights of Arrested and Accused Persons (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1990) and Constitution-Making from the Middle: Civil Society and Transition Politics in Kenya, 1992-1997 (Nairobi and Harrare: Sareat/MWENGO, 1999). He has also published many essays and papers on human rights, law and society and co-edited and co-authored several books:Governance and Leadership: Debating the African Condition: Mazrui and His Critics, Vol.1 and Vol. 2, (Africa World Press, 2003) with Alamin M. Mazrui; Black Orientalism and Pan-African Thought: Debating the African Condition: Ali Mazrui and His Critics, Vol. 3, (Africa World Press, 2013), with Seifudein Adem and Alamin Mazrui;Human Rights as Politics(Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Commission, 2003); and Exposing the Soft Belly of the Multinational Beast: The Struggle for Workers Rights at Del Monte, (Nairobi: Kenya Human Rights Commission, 2001) with Francesco Gesualdi and Steve Ouma. He is currently working on two books: his biography, Inspiring Encounters with Natasha Elkington and Elements of Progressive Jurisprudence in Kenya with Shermit Lamba as co-author. Since 2011, he has written articles and delivered speeches which are his vision of laying fundamental foundations for transforming the Kenyan Judiciary. These speeches are being edited for publication by Professor Sylvia Kangara of Riara Law School.
Dr. Mutunga is an avid reader, is fond of Indian movies and documentaries on revolutionaries, and religiously meditates and practices yoga. He wishes he could swim more often.
Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya
Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai - EGH, SC, is the Attorney General of the Republic Of Kenya.
Githu Muigai has over 20 years experience in the practice of law in Kenya and in East Africa. Prof. Muigai holds LLB and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nairobi and an LLM Degree from Columbia University School of Law, New York. He was called to the Bar in 1985. In addition to the practice of law he is an Associate Professor of Public law in the School of Law of the University of Nairobi (currently on leave of absence).
He has a wide range of areas of practice which include Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Information and Communications Technology Law, Insurance and Banking Law, Investments Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Public and Private International Law, Public Procurement Law. From August 2008 - September 2011 Prof. Githu Muigai was the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a member of the American Association of Trial Lawyers, Institute of Public Secretaries, Law Society of Kenya, East African Law Society, Council of Legal Education, International Commission of Jurists International Bar and the Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association.
Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai was sworn as sixth Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya on the 23rd August 2011. The Attorney General is the Principal Legal Adviser to Government of the Republic of Kenya.
Hon. Prof. L. Lavrysen, Judge of the Belgian Constitutional Court
Hon. Prof. L. Lavrysen, Judge of the Belgian Constitutional Court
Since 2000 he is chairman of the Environmental & Energy Law Centre at Ghent University. Furthermore he is chief-editor of the Tijdschrift voor Milieurecht (one of Belgians leading environmental law magazines), member and chair of the working group Product Standards of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO/CFDD) and president of the EU Forum of Judges for the Environment. In 2012 he was appointed as a member of the Aarhus Convention Commission Expert Group for National Judges of the EU.
In 2013 he became a member of the Global Council of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and a Honorary Member of the Finnish Society for Environmental Law. He joined in 2014 the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law. Specialties: Environmental Law - Constitutional Law - European Law
Justice Antonio Benjamin, National High Court of Brazil (STJ)
Appointed Justice of the National High Court of Brazil in 2006 by President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, Professor Antonio Herman Benjamin was a career Assistant Attorney General of the State of So Paulo for over twenty years, where he headed the Environmental Protection Division for several years. Professor Benjamin was the founding President of both the Brazilian Consumer Law and Policy Institute and Law for a Green Planet Institute. He is a former President of the Brazilian Fulbright Alumni Association, a member of the UN Secretary General Legal Expert Groups on Crimes against the Environment and for many years a member of the Brazilian Environmental Council (CONAMA), first appointed by president Fernando Henrique Cardoso and later re-appointed by President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva. At the international level, he served as co-president of INECE The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. Currently, he is the chair of the Brazil-US Law Society and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.
Justice Benjamin is a professor at the Catholic University of Braslia School of Law and a visiting professor of the University of Texas School of Law at Austin since 1994. He received his LL.B. from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, his LL.M. from the University of Illinois and his PhD from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He is the founder and emeritus editor-in-chief of the Brazilian Consumer Law Review and the Brazilian Environmental Law Review. He has co-drafted several major Brazilian statutes, including the 1990 Consumer Protection Code, the 1992 Anti-Corruption Act, the 1994 Competition Act, the 1998 Crimes Against the Environment Act, the 2012 Forest Code, the 2006 Forest Concession Act and the 2006 Atlantic Forest Act. Professor Benjamin has published over thirty books and articles in Brazil and abroad. During the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, he served as Secretary-General of the UNEP World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability.
Justice Winston Anderson, judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice
The Honorable Winston Anderson is a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice. He earned a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies in 1983 and has a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University in London, majoring in International and Environmental Law. In 1988, he completed a course of training at the Inns of Court School of Law in London and was called to the Bar of England and Wales, as a Barrister of the Honorable Society of Lincolns Inn. Justice Anderson was appointed general counsel of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat on secondment from the University of West Indies for 2003-2006. In 2006 he was appointed professor in the Faculty of Law, University of West Indies and was called to the Bar of Jamaica in February 2007. Following his return to the Faculty of Law in 2006, he was appointed CLIC executive director.
Justice Anderson was elevated to the Bench of the Caribbean Court of Justice at Kings House, Kingston, Jamaica, on June 15, 2010. He was sworn in by His Excellency the Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen.
Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law at Georgetown Law
Edith Brown Weiss, Francis Cabell Brown Professor of International Law at Georgetown Law
Professor Brown Weiss is highly active in the areas of public international, environmental, and water resources law. In September 2002 she was appointed to a 5-year term on the 3-member Inspection Panel of the World Bank and from 2003-2007 served full-time as the Chairperson of the Inspection Panel, an appointment at the Vice-Presidential level. Since January 2012, she serves as a Judge on the International Monetary Fund's Administrative Tribunal. She served on the Board of Directors of the Japanese Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the Council of Advisors to the Cousteau Society, the Board of Trustees for the Center for International Environmental Law, and the Advisory Council of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
In 2010, Professor Brown Weiss received the Manley O. Hudson Medal from the American Society of International Law, in 2008 the Award for International Environmental Law from the Center for International Environmental Law, in 2003 the American Bar Association (ABA) Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy, in 1996 the Prominent Women in International Law Award from the American Society of International Law, and in 1994 the Elizabeth Haub Prize for international environmental law given by the Free University of Brussels and the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL).
Scott Fulton, Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
Mr. Fulton served from 2009 to January 2013 as General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he handled or directed some of the United States' most significant environmental legal matters and represented the U.S. government at high-level international meetings and negotiations.
Mr.Fulton has over 30 years of experience in prosecuting environmental violations, defending Agency regulatory activity, and, as an appeals judge, adjudicating environmental disputes. He has worked on environmental issues at the state, federal and international level.
On the international front, he has served as EPAs international program director and lead representative, and has worked on environmental governance and rule of law issues for over 20 years with governments around the world as well with as international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), and other UN and regional organizations.
Among other things, he was one of two U.S. judicial delegates to attend the groundbreaking World Judges Symposium on Environmental Law hosted by UNEP in Johannesburg, SA in 2002, and played an active role in the development of UNEPs Judges Handbook on Environmental Law, as a member of the judicial editorial board.
Sheila Abed Duarte, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Paraguay
Minister of Justice of the Republic of Paraguay Sheila Abed Duarte founded IUCN Member Instituto de Derecho y Economa Ambiental (IDEA), which is one of the most highly regarded civil society organizations in Paraguay, and recognized throughout Latin America. Not long after founding IDEA, her career turned to the global sphere. She was elected Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, a position she held for two consecutive terms. In 2013 she was honored with the position of Special Envoy Programme UNEP United Nations Environment Environmental Justice. She has served as a negotiator with the Framework Convention on Climate Change, leading the Paraguayan government accreditation. She led the negotiating team Convention Debt for Nature with the U.S. Government in America.
Sheila Abed is a Paraguayan lawyer and politician. On 15 August 2013 she was sworn in as Minister of Justice and Labor of Paraguay in the cabinet of President Horacio Cartes . She has actively promoted in Paraguay transparency in governmental management through the promotion of legislation on access to public information and strategic litigation.