Human Rights & Climate Change



This year's course begins on 3rd May with Professor Petra Butler's course on Small States, followed by a half-day workshop on 7th June, then a one-day workshop on 15th June taught by Professor Evelyne Schmid and a half-day course on the morning of 16th June.


The half-day workshop on 7th June will provide an overview of the most compelling issues of the climate action in the Swiss business sector. The multifaceted business risks posed by climate change will be presented and analysed from the perspective of Swiss commercial law, with a focus on human rights obligations arising from international conventions and the influence of European Union legislation. This year's lecturers include: Dr. Corina Heri, University of Zurich, Ms. Giulia MarchettiniSchellenberg Wittmer,  and Ms. Aleksandra Pinkas, University of Wrocław. After the workshop, participants will have knowledge of the climate change legal framework applicable to business in Switzerland and be able to assess various environmental questions that Swiss companies are required to address. 


Professor Schmid's workshop will introduce participants to the interaction between climate change and human rights law. It will cover the basics about how climate change threatens human rights enjoyment and will explore the contours of the debate about how or to what extent human rights law is, or is not, able to take into account climate change threats, locally and from the perspective of global distributive justice. Participants will learn about some of the most well-known types of international climate litigation strategies based on human rights law (litigation against states, against corporations/non-state actors, advisory proceedings), and, vice versa, we will also will briefly look into litigation strategies by powerful non-state actors or by governments who attempt to curb or delay climate action or to shrink the space for environmental protection and activism. 


The last part of the course, taught by Ms. Lara Blecher, will look at various aspects of the ‘just transition.’ It will begin by exploring the international legal foundation for this concept and analysing examples of how just transition considerations are playing out in the real world. Participants will then be asked to draft a ‘just transition plan’ from the perspective of a government, a trade union, and a business. The session will end with a discussion about how these stakeholder perspectives overlap and conflict. The goal of this part of the course is for participants to understand better the concept of a ‘just transition.’ It will focus on the link between climate and human rights in the real world and the identification of tensions that prevent good solutions to dealing properly with both issues.






Petra Butler

Evelyne Schmid

Lara Blecher




disputes.jpgInternational Business Disputes

transactions.jpg International Business Transactions

regulation.jpg International Business Regulation

        Climate Change



3 ECTS credits



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