What a week for international human rights law!

Anna Triponel
March 31, 2023
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What a week for international human rights law!

Vanuatu, and other Pacific nations, have been pushing for years to get climate change in front of the highest international court: the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

And this week, the UN obliged. The UN General Assembly has asked the ICJ to deliver an advisory opinion clarifying international legal consensus on climate change. What obligations do states have to ensure the protection of the climate - for present and future generations? What are legal consequences for states? The resolution speaks about both present and future harm - to future generations affected by the adverse effects of climate change. ICJ Advisory Opinions are hugely influential, so this development is to be closely watched…🔍

And in another series of firsts, we had this week the first ever climate case heard before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. The case (Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland) will decide whether and to what extent a country such as Switzerland must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions more stringently to protect human rights. Since it’s before the European Court, this case will set a precedent for all states within the Council of Europe (46 to be exact). This video brings to life the women who brought the case.

We promised you last week to give you an update on our new video series: Be Human Rights Confident for Lawyers ⚖️

So here it is! Our first video is about why lawyers need to know about soft law. 🌟

We created this video series following demand from our fellow lawyers – both in-house and in law firms (many of you are on this listserv in fact!). We will respond to your questions, we will bring in perspectives from others and we will have some fun in the process. If there are questions you want to ensure we address as part of this, feel free to email us at:

You can find the full video over on our YouTube channel here.

And our short ‘teaser’ because we know lawyers are very busy people and may not have much time - on our Linkedin page.