Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University.
Margaretha’s research broadly speaking addresses the role of law in addressing sustainable development challenges, with a focus on climate change and human rights. Prior to joining Leiden University, she was a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of the South Pacific (USP) School of Law in Port Vila, Vanuatu, where she coordinated USP’s environmental law programme. She is the editor of Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities (with Evan Hamman, Routledge 2020), which navigates the major environmental law and governance challenges of the present and future of the Pacific. Her other book, State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights under International Law (Hart Publishing 2019) explains when and where State action related to climate change may amount to a violation of human rights. She has numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in international law and interdisciplinary journals. In 2018 she received an NWO Veni-grant for her project ‘Climate Justice through the Courts’ (2019-2023), which uses socio-legal research to investigate the effectiveness and potential drawbacks of rights-based climate litigation. She remains affiliated with USP as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development.
Margaretha’s research builds on more than fifteen years of involvement in legal processes related to sustainable development and human rights. Amongst other things, she has acted as a legal adviser to governments at international climate change negotiations, represented non-governmental organisations at the UN Human Rights Council, and advised the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the nexus between climate change and human rights. She currently leads the global team assisting the Republic of Vanuatu in its pursuit of an advisory opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice (with Julian Aguon) and serves on the Committee of Legal Experts of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law, which is mandated to promote and contribute to the definition, implementation and progressive development of rules and principles of international law pertaining to climate change. Further, she leads the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Specialist Group project Judicial Handbook on Climate Litigation (with Sarah Mead), which identifies emerging best practice in the adjudication of climate change. She is an Attorney at Blue Ocean Law, a boutique international law firm based in Guam, the Deputy Regional Director for Europe of the Global Network on Human Rights and the Environment, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Journal of International Law.
Margaretha holds a PhD from the European University Institute, a European Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) from the European Inter-University Centre on Human Rights and Democratisation, a Graduate LLB from Nottingham Law School and a BA (Philosophy) and BSc (Cultural Anthropology & Development Studies) from the Radboud University. She received a Lord Justice Holker Award from the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn (London) and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2014.
- Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law
- Deputy Regional Director (Europe)
- Member of the Board of Editors
- Member of the Advisory Board
- Member of the Technical Advisory Group, Pacific Climate Change Migration & Human Security Programme
- Member of the Board