Türkiye: Empowering lawyers to protect the environment with human rights law
The ICJ, together with KAGED and the Human Rights Joint Platform has held a series of four trainings for lawyers and civil society in Türkiye to empower them in using human rights law to protect the environment.
The trainings were held in September and October 2022 in Istanbul, Trabzon, Izmir and Antalya. Many lawyers from these cities and the neighbouring provinces as well as civil society representatives actively participated in the trainings.
“Lawyers and civil society are a gateway for any person to ensure legal protection of their human rights” said Massimo Frigo, Senior Legal Adviser in the ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme. “In a time of environmental crises such as this, we need them to be well prepared to use any legal avenue, including by resorting to human rights law, to ensure States and companies respect the environment.”
During the trainings, the participants were introduced to comparative cases from other European countries from expert lawyers in environmental litigation and were guided through the many international human rights mechanisms and the legal and practical requirements to access them.
Participants discussed legal challenges in international environmental human rights litigation, including questions of standing to bring complaints, exhaustion of domestic remedies and jurisdiction.
The participants were also trained on the human rights standards and jurisprudence related to the environment in online trainings, including with regard to 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 ICJ and KAGED published this year a study on the obstacles that exist in the Turkish legal systems to protect the environment. It is available here.
The agendas of the trainingy can be accessed here:
These four trainings are part of the U-LEAD project that aims to empower Turkish lawyers and civil society to protect the environment by using human rights law and mechanisms. The project is co-financed by the European Union.