Environmental Litigation Working Party: Human Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment

Bookings now open

Please join the Environmental Litigation Working Party for a late afternoon webinar on Human Rights to a clean and healthy environment. Taking place online on Tuesday 17th May at 4.30pm until 6.30pm, we are delighted to bring you three expert speakers. 

This webinar follows the Environmental Litigation Working Party's response to the Ministry of Justice Consultation:  'Human Rights Act Reform; A Modern Bill of Rights.   A consultation to reform the Human Rights Act 1998 published in March 2022. Read their consultation response on the UKELA website.  


1. Introduction of the workshop and discussants: Co-Chairs Jill Crawford (Co-Convenor of UKELA Environmental Litigation Working Party) and Hannah Blitzer (PhD Candidate, University of Sussex)

Despite over 150 countries recognising the right in their constitutions, national legislation, and international law, the UK has yet to firmly recognise and incorporate the right into its domestic framework.

Organised following UKELA’s submission to the UK Ministry of Justice’s Consultation on a Bill of Rights, the aim of this seminar is to develop a better understanding about how the environmental legal community could play a role in advancing the right to a healthy environment in the UK. 

2. Discussants

Our guests will consider the legal and environmental benefits and challenges to recognising an environmental right and how the UK might progress with recognising the right to a clean and healthy environment.

• Professor John H. Knox – Professor John H. Knox is an internationally recognized expert on human rights law and international environmental law. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the first United Nations Independent Expert, and from 2015 to 2018, as its first Special Rapporteur, on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. In that role, he submitted a series of reports to the UN Human Rights Council on the application of human rights law to environmental issues, including climate change and the conservation of biological diversity. In 2018, he concluded his mandate by presenting Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment to the United Nations, and by calling upon the UN General Assembly to recognize the human right to a healthy and sustainable environment. He is currently writing a book on the evolution of environmental rights in international law.

• Professor Alan Boyle – Professor Alan Boyle is Emeritus Professor of Public International Law at Edinburgh University. Educated at Oxford University, he has also taught at the University of London (Queen Mary College); University of Texas Law School; William and Mary College Law School, Virginia; the University of Paris (Paris II & X), and LUISS in Rome. He was General Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly from 1998 until 2006. He is a barrister at Essex Court Chambers and practises in international law especially international environmental law, law of the sea international law making and international litigation. He also practices occasionally in the International Court of Justice and other international tribunals, mainly in environmental and law of the sea cases. He has worked regularly as a consultant or as counsel for various governments, international organisations and NGOs on general international law, international environmental law and law of the sea. He has the author of a number of publications on International Law and has written on the issue of human rights and the environment.

Dr. Ben Christman - Dr. Ben Christman is an in-house solicitor for Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland. Ben also works part-time as a solicitor for a law centre specialising in housing and human rights law. He wrote the 2018 report for Scottish Environment LINK on the feasibility of setting up the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland. He has published several articles on environmental law, including a number on access to environmental justice in Scotland. He is a trustee of Planning Democracy and a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Access to Justice Committee.

3. Discussion and Q&A led by Co-Chairs 

The Co-Chairs will provide a brief background to the UKELA consultation response, followed by a discussion on what changes could help the UK comply with international human rights and environmental law relating to the right to a healthy environment. The discussion will broadly centre around two questions: Where to next? How can we leverage our position as environmental lawyers to encourage UK government to adopt and implement the right?

The remainder of the time will be dedicated to Q&A

4. Closing Remarks


  • UKELA members - £10
  • Human Rights Research Centre members - £10
  • Non members - £20
  • Students/unwaged - free

Please book your place by logging in or registering and following the prompts. 


5/17/2022 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
GMT Daylight Time
Registration is closed.


For general information on environmental issues, visit our sister site Law and Your environment