UNEP Creates Advisory Body on Environmental Law, Justice and Governance

UNEP7 December 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has created a new, high-level advisory panel of senior legal figures to advise it and the international community on improving the role of law, justice and good governance in achieving sustainable development, and on engaging the legal and auditing community across the globe in realizing such improvement.

The inaugural meeting of the International Advisory Council for the Advancement of Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability took place on 7 December 2012, in Washington, DC, US, under the auspices of UNEP and the Organization of American States (OAS). The creation of the Council is part of UNEP's follow-up to the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability, which was organized by UNEP with the support of OAS and other international bodies, and held in parallel to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The Congress called for the establishment of an international institutional network to continue engaging high-level legal officers and promote information exchange, education and capacity building of members of the judicial, auditing and prosecuting agencies. The Advisory Council will advise and assist interested bodies in developing the network, supporting the development and implementation of environmental law at all levels, promoting access to environmental justice and expansion of environmental jurisprudence, and encouraging information sharing and technical assistance toward these ends.

The nine Advisory Council members are: Winston Anderson, Judge, Caribbean Court of Justice; Tun Arifin Zakaria, Chief Justice, Malaysia; Antonio Herman Benjamin, Supreme Court, Brazil; Edith Brown Weiss, law professor, Georgetown University, and former chair of the World Bank Inspection Panel; Robert Carnwath, UK Supreme Court; Scott Fulton, General Counsel, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA); Ricardo Luis Lorenzetti, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Argentina; Scott Vaughan, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Canada; and Philip Waki, Judge, Kenya Court of Appeals. [UNEP Press Release] [OAS Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of World Congress]