Turkey: Effective use of international human rights mechanisms in environmental protection training programme

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), in partnership with the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBA) Environment Law Commission and the Human Rights Joint Platform (IHOP), successfully conducted a training programme on “Effective Use of International Human Rights Mechanisms in Environmental Protection” between 5 and 10-11 June 2023.

The training organised for the members of the TBA Environment Commission was delivered in two parts: online and face-to-face, providing a comprehensive exploration of human rights and environmental law.

During the online segment of the programme, participants were introduced to the fundamental aspects of the right to environment within the context of United Nations and Council of Europe human rights protection mechanisms. This section focused on the rights under which environmental claims can be litigated before international human rights mechanisms. An intensive training on human rights standards and jurisprudence related to the environment was delivered, with specific focus on the right to life, right to private and family life, right to access courts, freedom of expression and access to information, and freedom of association and assembly.

The face-to-face part of the programme took place on 10-11 June at the facilities of the Union of Bar Associations in Ankara. During these sessions, lawyers, specialising in environmental litigation, shared comparative cases from other European countries. Participants were guided through the international human rights mechanisms and the legal and practical requirements to access them. The sessions prompted in-depth discussions on legal challenges in international environmental human rights litigation, encompassing questions of standing to bring complaints, exhaustion of domestic remedies, and jurisdiction.

Four cases on the protection of environmental rights in Turkey were discussed within the framework of international human rights law, and participants worked collaboratively to develop alternative strategies to bring these cases to international bodies.

The programme was lead by several trainers, including, Kerem Altıparmak (ICJ Legal Consultant), Natalia Kobylarz (European Court of Human Rights), Gizem Koç (Clientearth), and Deniz Bayram (Human Rights Watch) joined the programme, sharing their vast knowledge and experience in the field.

The ICJ strongly believes in the importance of equipping legal practitioners with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively use international human rights mechanisms in the protection of the environment. This training programme represents a significant step towards this aim.

Agenda in English  TheUBA-Training_ENG

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