Dr Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at USP. She is also an Affiliate of the Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Wewerinke-Singh’s work broadly speaking focuses on the role of law in framing and implementing responses to sustainability challenges. Her forthcoming book, ’State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights under International Law’ (Hart Publishing) explains when and where state action related to climate change may amount to a violation of human rights. In related publications she examined the competency of human rights treaty bodies and the UN Human Rights Council to deal with climate change-related cases. Current research focuses on the implications of the Paris Agreement for international, regional and national climate governance, climate change-induced displacement, and the potential of climate change litigation in shaping environmental governance. Another current project is a co-edited book ‘Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific’ (with Evan Hamman) which will describe and analyse the current state of environmental law and governance across the Pacific Islands region.

Dr Wewerinke-Singh was called to the bar of England and Wales in 2014, and has been involved in multilateral processes related to sustainable development and human rights, in different capacities, since 2007. She has acted as a legal adviser to governments at international climate negotiations, assisted the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on human rights and climate change, and provided substantive input to UN human rights bodies on behalf of different NGOs. At USP, she supports students in advising Pacific Island delegations at international climate negotiations, in collaboration with colleagues at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development and the School of Government, Development and International Affairs. She is currently also assisting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Regional Office for the Pacific on human rights and climate change.

Dr Wewerinke-Singh is a founding board member of the Climate Justice Fund, intended to provide financial and strategic support to legal initiatives related to climate change. She is also a member of the IUCN Academy for Environmental Law and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and serves on the editorial boards of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and of the Journal of South Pacific Law.

Selected publications

  • Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh, ‘State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations Associated With Climate Change’, in Sébastien Jodoin, Sébastien Duyck and Alyssa Johl (eds), Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Climate Governance (Routledge, forthcoming 2017)
  • Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh and Curtis Doebbler, ‘The Paris Agreement: Some Critical Reflections on Process and Substance’ (2016) 39(4) University of New South Wales Law Journal 1486
  • Margaretha Wewerinke, ‘The Role of the UN Human Rights Council in Addressing Climate Change’ (2014) 7(1) Human Rights and International Legal Discourse 10
  • Margaretha Wewerinke, ‘UN Human Rights Committee Ad hoc Conciliation Commission’, in Mark Gibney and Wouter Vandenhole (eds), Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations: Alternative Judgements (Routledge 2013)
  • Margaretha Wewerinke and Curtis Doebbler, ‘Exploring the Legal Basis of a Human Rights Approach to Climate Change’ (2011) 10(1) Chinese Journal of International Law 141