Seeking Finance Trustee to join LRI Board

LRI Board is mainly made up of lawyers. The Trustees are now seeking to diversify the board’s overall skill set and looking for an individual who has in depth knowledge and understanding of current finance and accounting practices relevant to charities. For more details, please see “Trustee for Legal Charity” on the following link:


Former UNFCCC senior legal adviser joins LRI Board

Mr Seth Osafo, a Ghanaian lawyer, has been appointed as a new Trustee of the LRI Board. Mr Osafo brings to the Board a deep knowledge of climate change law and policy and a wealth of experience of the international process, having worked at a number of UN agencies since the early 1990s including as senior legal adviser to the UNFCCC secretariat as well as UNEP. Mr Osafo was also the Head of the Legal Division of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the Future Status of Kosovo, HE. Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland. Since 2009 he has been a consultant to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UNITAR and the African Development Bank providing legal advice to African negotiators at the UN climate Negotiations.

On his appointment Seth stated that “ I look forward to joining an organization whose work on the legal issues arising from the climate change negotiations has greatly benefitted African negotiators”.

Kate Cook, LRI Chair, commented that Seth will “bring invaluable insight into the perspectives of developing country negotiators at the climate change negotiations, and in particular those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as we develop our capacity to provide assistance with national implementation of the Paris Agreement.”


Human rights across borders

On 22 March 2017, a public hearing will take place at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which was asked (by Colombia) to give an advisory opinion on the interpretation and scope of certain human rights obligations (e.g. the right to life and humane treatment) in the American Convention on Human Rights.

The request for an advisory opinion focuses on the possible impacts of grand scale projects on the marine environment in the Greater Caribbean Region. It raises many legal questions related to the effects of transboundary pollution originating in one jurisdiction on the rights of people under the jurisdiction or control of another country.

The so called “extra-territorial” application of human rights obligations is also an important issue in the climate change context. For example: could a major greenhouse gas emitting nation be held responsible under existing human rights treaties for harm to the lives and livelihoods of people in another country?

LRI’s director Christoph Schwarte was invited to submit his written observations on the request for an advisory opinion. His short note – along with the comments by 45 other experts, organisations and academic institutions – is available at: