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UJ explores Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations

​​​​It may seem that, in the absence of explicit treaties, states have no legal obligations to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.​

​​​​Yet, if emissions continue on their present trajectory, the harms they cause will reach catastrophic proportions, putting the human rights of billions of people in jeopardy.​

​​International human rights law is legally binding on states, which are, therefore, not free to continue business as usual. But how much does the best interpretation of existing law — including human rights law, international law, tort law and national environmental law – require each state to do to reduce emissions, even in the absence of a specific treaty? A group of distinguished legal experts from around the world has answered this question, producing a set of Principles that formulate existing obligations regarding the climate, along with a detailed legal Commentary The discussion will be hosted by Hennie Strydom, a professor of International Law at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the holder of the South African Research Chair (SARChi) in International Law, UJ. Special guests and co-authors of the Principles will be: Prof Thomas Pogge Director of the Global Justice Program and Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University. Prof Jaap Spier Advocate General of the High Court of the Netherlands & Honorary Professor at the University of Maastricht.​


Date: May 14, 2015​

Times: 18H00 – 19H00

Venue: Humanities Faculty Common Room B – Ring 3 (Open Discussion); B-Ring 315 (Launch and press announcement), University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park.

RSVP before May 13, 2015 to Prof Hennie Strydom at


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