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Durham University

School of Government & International Affairs


Strategic Climate Litigation in the inter-State context: seeing beyond the rights paradigm

19th January 2021, 13:00 to 14:00, Zoom webinar, Gleider Hernández

Climate change has grabbed headlines in recent years as a pressing issue of global collective concern. But with complex legal instruments such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which are often accompanied by weak enforcement mechanisms, what can—and should—the international lawyer do?

In this presentation, Professor Hernández will introduce the issues relating to climate change litigation, explaining the existing legal proceedings in place, and outline the challenges for a specifically inter-State contentious dispute as well as those relating to advisory proceedings at the ICJ. He will also present reflections on the necessarily activist posture behind lawyers mobilising behind these claims: can international law really be part of the solution?

All welcome to this first Global Policy Institute Webinar of this term.

For Zoom joining details, please email Louise Haysey (

Prof. dr. Gleider Hernández is Professor of Public International Law at KU Leuven and at Open Universiteit Nederland. Before joining KU Leuven, he was Associate Professor (Reader) in Public International Law at Durham Law School, and Deputy Director of the Durham Global Policy Institute. He took a D.Phil from Wadham College, Oxford, read for an LL.M in Public International Law at Leiden University, and for BCL (civil law) and LL.B (common law) degrees at McGill University.

From 2015 to 2017, Professor Hernández held a Research Leadership Fellowship (Early Career) from the United Kingdom Arts & Humanities Research Council. Regarding external fellowships and appointments, he was a Christopherson-Knott Fellow at the Durham Institute of Advanced Study (Michaelmas 2018); Visiting Consultant with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva (summer 2017); Visiting Senior Fellow at the TMC Asser Institute in The Hague (autumn 2016); Visiting Expert Associate at the Amsterdam Centre for International Law (spring 2014); and Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, McGill University (autumn 2013). From April-August 2019, he will hold a Fulbright Scholar All-Disciplines Award at Harvard Law School, at the Institute for Global Law and Policy, of which he is also Junior Faculty.

In addition to academic work, Professor Hernández also holds extensive international law practice experience. He served as Special Assistant to the President of the Arbitral Tribunal seated in the ICSID resubmission proceedings Pey Casado and Foundation President Allende v Republic of Chile. He is also a Member of the Legal Action Committee of the group, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to challenging injustice through innovative legal strategy. From 2007-2010, he served as Associate Legal Officer at the International Court of Justice, acting from 2008-2010 as Law Clerk to Judges Bruno Simma and Peter Tomka (then Vice-President). Previously, he practised as a barrister and solicitor at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (Montreal) until 2004.

Professor Hernández is a Member of the Board of the European Society of International Law, the Editorial Board of Global Policy, and the Academic Review Board of the Cambridge International Law Journal. He is also General Editor of Oxford International Courts of General Jurisdiction (Oxford Scholarship Online).

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Contact Details

T: +44 (0) 191 334 5742

F: +44 (0) 191 334 5661