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



Corina Heri

Giulia Marchettini

Aleksandra Pinkas



disputes.jpgInternational Business Disputes

transactions.jpg International Business Transactions

regulation.jpg International Business Regulation

        Climate Change



3 ECTS credits



Our students benefit from excellent contributions by experienced practicioners and academics:

Corina Heri

Corina Heri.jpeg


Dr. Corina Heri is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Together with Professor Dr. Helen Keller she co-leads the ‘Climate Rights and Remedies’ research project, which examines the evolving phenomenon of rights-based climate litigation. Her work has appeared in the Human Rights Law Review, the European Journal of International Law, and the German Law Journal, among others. Her monograph, Responsive Human Rights: Vulnerability, Ill-treatment and the ECtHR, was published with Hart Publishing in 2021.






Giulia Marchettini



Giulia Marchettini  is a Counsel in Dispute Resolution Group at Schellenberg Wittmer in Geneva. She specializes in representing clients in complex and multi-jurisdictional litigation, including enforcement of foreign decisions, freezing injunctions, contentious labor law matters, cross-border contractual disputes, disputes arising out of financial advisory work, joint ventures and partnerships. Giulia Marchettini also has strong expertise in international legal assistance in civil matters. She is admitted to the bar in Switzerland and holds an Executive Certificate in Environmental Governance.





Aleksandra Pinkas 


Aleksandra Pinkas is a PhD candidate in the Department of Public Administration System of the Institute of Administrative Sciences at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics of the University of Wrocław, Poland. She specializes in climate protection law and energy law (especially in the area of renewable energy sources and hydrogen). Her scientific work is joined by her professional practice, where she has experience working in international law firms in Poland and cooperating with energy think-tanks. Aleksandra Pinkas is an author of numerous scientific and branch articles and co-author of interdisciplinary expert reports. Moreover, she is also a speaker at scientific and business conferences regarding energy transition issues. Aleksandra Pinkas deeply believes that climate protection is one of the biggest challenges in the modern world, which requires the active engagement of science and business.

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