convenors: Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Indonesian Institute for Independent Judiciary (LeIP), Faculty of Law University of Indonesia (FHUI), Center of Environmental Law and
Climate Justice FHUI
topic: Climate Change, Human Rights and Access to Justice
coordinator: Grita Anindarini (ICEL)
moderators: Syaharani (Researcher of ICEL)
• Dr. Bambang Heriyanto, S.H., M.H. (Judge in Surabaya Administrative Court of Appeal) Download here
• Dr. Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh (Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies, Leiden University)
• Prof. Andri Gunawan Wibisana (Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia) Download here
• Raynaldo G. Sembiring, S.H. (Executive Director of ICEL) Download here
rapporteur: Grita Anindarini (ICEL)
• Forming peer learning and exchange ideas forum between Indonesia and Netherlands’ judges and lawyer in handling climate change litigation, particularly related to duty of care, human
rights and scientific evidence’s aspects;
• Ensuring people’s access to justice to demand better climate policy through court decisions.
Climate change litigation has begun picking up around the world. Beside pushing legal policy to reduce greenhouse gasses, litigation has become one of the available measures used by the public to push the government and company to be more accountable and ambitious in forming climate’s policy. Potentially, climate litigation will produce legal reforms, particularly in the field of environmental law. Some of the notable climate cases took place in the Netherlands. Dutch Courts (from District Court until Hoge Raad) have decided two landmark cases (i.e., Urgenda v Dutch Government and Milieudefensie v Shell.) which has been a catalyst not only for the climate movement but also for climate law reform. Both cases used the duty of care combined with human rights law as legal basis to examine the government and company’s obligations. Scientific data – mostly from IPCC’s report – played an essential role in the case as well. In these landmark cases pertaining to climate change, the Dutch courts assigned liability to a government institution and a private company.
Reflecting on the situation in Indonesia, Indonesia conducts many economic activities that likely contribute to climate change, for instance in the forestry and energy’s sectors. Some legal reforms relating to these sectors were the result of court decisions, particularly in forest-land fires and illegal logging’ cases. Strict liability, precautionary principle, in dubio pro natura principle, corporate crime liability and environmental restoration are some of the legal principles that have been applied by Indonesian courts. Those cases have contributed not only in halting and stopping the deforestation, but also in reducing greenhouse gasses (GHG). One of the interesting things is most of the cases were brought by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as the plaintiff against a company. As an important country with a significant role in the global climate agenda (particularly considering that Indonesia has the world’s second largest tropical forest and is one of the largest producers of coal), climate change litigation will potentially have significant impacts in Indonesia.
Just like in the Netherlands, Indonesia’s courts may play a significant role in halting and reducing GHG emissions via judicial decisions in the future. Therefore, the participants in this panel will exchange experiences about how to use Human Rights, duty of care and scientific evidence in climate change cases. Thus, in the framework of legal innovations in the field of climate change litigation, two main issues will be discussed. First, the problem of interpreting the scientific basis of climate change claims, as competing claims concerning scientific evidence will inevitably play a role in climate change disputes. Second, the position of human rights in adjudicating environmental and climate cases. Finally, considering that some landmark climate cases have been produced by Dutch courts, this panel seeks to explore opportunities to establish a peer-to-peer platform on climate change litigation and to develop strategic legal cooperation in the future.