Lawasia Session on the Relationship Between Climate Change and Human Rights

At the recent Lawasia Annual Conference in Cambodia, Watts McCray Director Justin Dowd had the pleasure of attending the challenging and stimulating Environmental Law session entitled “Climate Change and Human Rights”.

The session was chaired by the Honourable Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW. The speakers in the session emphasised the interdependence of climate change as a human rights issue, identifying as inalienable human rights, the right to clean water and  clean air; the right to live in an environment that is healthy and as free, as far as possible, of climate extremes caused by human intervention.

One of the speakers was Dr Kirsten Davies of Macquarie Law School (Sydney). Dr Davies made reference in her presentation to the Declaration of Human Rights & Climate Change. This Declaration was the product of the work of 14 esteemed academics. The Declaration exists on the web at

As Vice President of Lawasia, Justin is working with Lawasia to promote awareness of the Declaration and the importance of the work being done in this area. Justin says “these are crucial issues for all of us, especially when considering the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. Many at the Conference suggested that Australia is performing poorly in terms of its efforts to work with other countries to combat climate change.”

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