Judges, the Environmental Rule of Law and a Healthy Planet Since the 1972 Stockholm Declaration: Achievements, challenges and opportunities.

Thursday 2 June
15:45-17:00 CEST
Stockholmsmässan, Room 5

Organizers: International Association of Judges, UNEP, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Council of Environmental Law, Environmental Law Institute, and Earthday.org, with partners: Global Judicial Institute on the Environment, Swedish Association of Judges, Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment, and Global Judicial Integrity Network of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Archived video: Watch

About: One great legacy of the Stockholm Conference in 1972 has been the proliferation of environmental law around the world, including thousands of multilateral and bilateral environmental agreements, over a hundred constitutional provisions, and innumerable national and subnational laws. Fifty years later, the principal challenge in environmental governance is achieving effective implementation of this international and national legal framework.

This event will be the first-ever dialogue among supreme court justices and judges from around the world on the opportunities for realizing the promise of the environmental rule of law and the importance of guaranteeing judicial independence and integrity after the Stockholm Declaration.

Judges play a critical and growing role in responding to global crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution, and in transitioning toward equitable, resilient, and sustainable societies—a vital part of the UN Agenda 2030 and SDG 16. Cross-cutting themes for discussion include human rights, protection of environmental defenders, rights of indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, and rights of nature.

Judicial implementation of environmental law and environmental justice are essential components of the Stockholm+50 Leadership Dialogues, providing a foundation for achieving a healthy planet and prosperity for all and for successful legal and policy actions in this critical decade.

Moderator(s): Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (Convention on Biological Diversity), Patricia Kameri-Mbote (UNEP Law Division)


  • Justice José Igreja Matos (Court of Appeal of Portugal and President, International Association of Judges)
  • Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin (National High Court of Brazil )
  • Thomas Clark (Asian Development Bank)
  • Christina Voigt (IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law)
  • Nicholas Robinson (IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law)
  • Justice Nambitha Dambuza (Supreme Court of South Africa)
  • Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti (Supreme Court of Argentina)
  • Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla (Supreme Court of Nepal)
  • Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah (Supreme Court of Pakistan)
  • Justice Brian Preston (Environment and Land Court, Australia)
  • Justice Fabien Raynaud (Conseil d’État)
  • Justice Joe Williams (Supreme Court of New Zealand)

Contact person: Denise Antolini (antolini_at_hawaii.edu)

Event outcomes (Key transformative actions):

  • Judges from across the globe must be directly and visibly engaged in international environmental conferences like Stockholm+50, starting today.
  • In light of the triple planetary crises, judiciaries  around the world urgently need to build capacity of judges to address the complex interdisciplinary nature of environmental law cases, and to ensure judges have the tools to ensure the effective implementation of environmental rights and duties
  • The global conservation community needs to support the independence and integrity of judges, who are often the last resort for the actualization of legal rights provided by the law.


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