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Dr. M.J. (Margaretha) Wewerinke-Singh MA LLM

Associate Professor of Sustainability Law
Faculty of Law
Constitutional and Administrative Law

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15557
    1001 NB Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh is Associate Professor of Sustainability Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam.

    Margaretha’s research, supervision and teaching broadly speaking explores the role of law in transitioning to sustainable societies, with a special focus on human rights and social justice. Prior to joining the University of Amsterdam, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands (2018-2022) and as 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 remains affiliated with USP as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development.

    Margaretha has published widely in the field of sustainability law. 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 also leads the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Specialist Group project Cambridge Handbook on Climate Change Litigation (with Sarah Mead, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press), which identifies emerging best practice in the adjudication of climate change.

    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 is of counsel at Blue Ocean Law, a boutique international law firm based in Guam, 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. She also serves as the Deputy Regional Director for Europe of the Global Network on Human Rights and the Environment and is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Netherlands Advisory Council on International Affairs. Further, she is a member of the Board of the Social Sciences and Humanities Domain of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Scientific Advisory Boards of the European Journal of International Law and the Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, and the Editorial Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental 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. 

  • Publications

    2024

    • Gupta, A., Biermann, F., Driel, E. V., Bernaz, N., Jayaram, D., Kim, R. E., Kotzé, L. J., Ruddigkeit, D., VanDeveer, S. D., & Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2024). Towards a Non-Use Regime on Solar Geoengineering: Lessons from International Law and Governance. Transnational Environmental Law. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2047102524000050

    2023

    2022

    2021

    • Day, J., Wewerinke-Singh, M., & Price, S. (2021). Eviction is Not a Disaster. Development Policy Review, 39(1), 103-120. https://doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12460
    • Day, J., Wewerinke-Singh, M., Price, S., Tabawa, S., Netaf, R., Pakoa, A., & Ulas, J. (2021). Trust in Cash Assistance Programming: Addressing Mega Trend Changes through Disaster Management and Impact Assessment. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 39(4), 348-351. https://doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2021.1916264
    • Jodoin, S., Savaresi, A., & Wewerinke-Singh, M. (2021). Rights-Based Approaches to Climate Decision-Making. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 52, 45-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2021.06.004
    • Mead, S., & Wewerinke-Singh, M. (2021). Recent Developments in International Climate Change Law Pacific Island Countries' Contributions. International Community Law Review, 23(2-3), 294-309. https://doi.org/10.1163/18719732-12341479
    • Nay, Z., Wewerinke-Singh, M., & Missack, W. (2021). Climate Loss and Damage in Pacific Island States: International Law Implications of Evolving Climate Science. Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 24(2), 201-229. https://doi.org/10.4337/apjel.2021.02.03
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. (2021). Pandemics, Planetary Health and Human Rights: Rethinking the Duty to Cooperate in the Face of Compound Global Crises. Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, 24, 399-425. https://doi.org/10.1163/18757413_02401013
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Aguon J. , & Hunter J. (2021). Bringing Climate Change before the International Court of Justice: Prospects for Contentious Cases and Advisory Opinions. In I. Alogna, C. Bakker, & G. J.P. (Eds.), Climate Change Litigation: Global Perspectives Leiden: Brill.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Stein J.A.M., & Doek J.E. (2021). De ontwikkeling en implicaties van kinder- en mensenrechten op het gebied van klimaatverandering. Tijdschrift voor Familie- en Jeugdrecht.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M., & McCoach, A. (2021). The State of the Netherlands v Urgenda Foundation: Distilling Best Practice and Lessons Learnt for Future Rights-Based Climate Litigation. Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law, 30(2), 275-283. https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12388

    2020

    • Mechler, R., Singh, C., Ebi, K., Djalante, R., Thomas, A., James, R., Tschakert, P., Wewerinke-Singh, M., Schinko, T., Ley, D., Nalau, J., Bouwer, L. M., Huggel, C., Huq, S., Linnerooth-Bayer, J., Surminski, S., Pinho, P., Jones, R., Boyd, E., & Revi, A. (2020). Loss and Damage and Limits to Adaptation: Recent IPCC Insights and Implications for Climate Science and Policy. Sustainability Science, 15(4), 1245-1251. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-020-00807-9
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2020). Litigating Human Rights Violations Related to the Adverse Effects of Climate Change in the Pacific Islands. In L. J., & K. D. A. (Eds.), Climate Change Litigation in the Asia Pacific (pp. 94-119). Cambridge University Press.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Hamman, E. (Eds.) (2020). Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities. In Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9780429260896/environmental-law-governance-pacific-evan-hamman-margaretha-wewerinke-singh
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Mead, S. (2020). Climate Change Law in the Pacific Islands. In Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities Routledge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Van Geelen, T. (2020). Protecting the rights of vulnerable groups during evacuation: A case study of Cyclone Pam and Mataso Island in Vanuatu. In S. M., & S. A. (Eds.), Climate Change, Disasters, and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach Routledge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Tabe T., Singh H., & Singh J.K. (2020). Human Rights and the Environment in Pacific Island States. In Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communitie Routledge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M., & Salili, D. H. (2020). Between Negotiations and Litigation: Vanuatu's Perspective on Loss and Damage from Climate Change. Climate Policy, 20(6), 681-692. https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2019.1623166

    2019

    • Rose, J., Wewerinke-Singh, M., & Miranda, J. (2019). Primal Scene to Anthropocene: Narrative and Myth in International Environmental Law. Netherlands International Law Review, 66(3), 441-473. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40802-019-00151-5
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2019). State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights Under International Law. Hart Publishing.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2019). Remedies for Human Rights Violations Caused by Climate Change. Climate Law, 9(3).

    2018

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2018). Climate Migrants’ Right to Enjoy their Culture. In Climate Refugees: Beyond the Legal Impasse?: Routledge studies in environmental migration, displacement and resettlement (pp. 194-213). Routledge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2018). State Responsibility for Human Rights Violations Associated With Climate Change. In Routledge Handbook of Human Rights and Climate Governance (pp. 75-89). Routledge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M., & Van Geelen, T. (2018). Protection of Climate Displaced Persons under International Law: A Case Study from Mataso Island, Vanuatu. Melbourne Journal of International Law, 19(2).

    2017

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Crosland T., & Meyer A. (2017). The Paris Agreement Implementation Blueprint: Avenues to Blueprint Implementation (Part 2). Environmental Liability: Law, Policy and Practice, 2016(5), 1-13.

    2016

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2016). Vanuatu: Leven op een Kwetsbaar Eiland in de Stille Oceaan. Speling. Tijdschrift voor bezinning, 68(1), 57-62.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Doebbler, C. (2016). The Paris Agreement: Some Critical Reflections on Process and Substance. University of New South Wales law journal, 39(4), 1486-1517.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Crosland T., & Meyer, A. (2016). The Paris Agreement Implementation Blueprint: A Practical Guide to Bridging the Gap between Actions and Goal and Closing the Accountability Deficit (Part 1). Environmental Liability: Law, Policy and Practice, 24(3-4), 114-125.

    2015

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Fa'anunu F. (2015). Human Rights and Climate Change Law. Journal of South Pacific Law.

    2014

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2014). The Role of the UN Human Rights Council in Addressing Climate Change. Human Rights and International Legal Discourse, 8(1), 10-35.

    2013

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2013). Climate Change (Human Rights Committee, Ad hoc Conciliation Commission). In Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations: Alternative Judgments (pp. 155-171). Routledge.

    2011

    • Wewerinke, M., & Doebbler, C. F. J. (2011). Exploring the Legal Basis of a Human Rights Approach to Climate Change. Chinese Journal of International Law, 10(1), 141-160. https://doi.org/10.1093/chinesejil/jmr003

    2010

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Doebbler C.F.J. (2010). International Climate Change Action: Saving Human Rights after Cancun. Indian Yearbook of International Law and Policy, 2, 119-153.

    2009

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Doebbler C.F.J. (2009). What Happened in Copenhagen? Al-Ahram.

    2023

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M., Garg, A., & Agarwalla, S. (2023). In Defence of Future Generations: A Reply to Stephen Humphreys. European Journal of International Law, 34(3), 651–667. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejil/chad033 [details]
    • de Ruijter, A., Dijkstra, S. C., Wallage, B., Poelman, M. P., Bergsma, L., van Kolfschooten, H. B., Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., Rutgers, T., & Waterlander, W. E. (2023). Tussen mens en ruimte: De (on)gezonde voedselomgeving als omgevingswaarde. Universiteit van Amsterdam.

    2022

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author), & Belić, J. (Author). (2022). Rethinking Human Rights in the Context of Climate Change. Justice Everywhere. Web publication or website, Justice Everywhere.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author), & Savaresi, A. (Author). (2022). Historic Inquiry Holds the Carbon Majors Accountable for the Impacts of Climate Change in the Philippines. Web publication or website, The Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment .
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author). (2022). Climate Change in an Unequal World: Do International Courts and Tribunals Matter?. Web publication or website, CIL Dialogues: an International Law Blog.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author). (2022). Pakistan’s Call for Climate Reparations: An International Law Perspective. Web publication or website, Verfassungsblog. https://verfassungsblog.de/pakistans-call-for-climate-reparations/

    2021

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author), & Savaresi, A. (Author). (2021). Friends of the Earth (Netherlands) v Royal Dutch Shell: Human Rights and the Obligations of Corporations in the Hague District Court Decision. Web publication or website, The Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment .
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author). (2021). Between Cross-Border Obligations and Domestic Remedies: The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s decision on Sacchi v Argentina (Parts 1 & 2). Web publication or website, Oxford Human Rights Hub.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author). (2021). Grappling with Danger: Some Lessons from Urgenda v The Netherlands. Web publication or website, Oxford Human Rights Hub. https://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/grappling-with-danger-some-lessons-from-urgenda-v-the-netherlands/
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (Author). (2021). UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) 11 October 2021, no. Communication 104/2019 Chiara Sacchi et al v. Argentina et. al.. Web publication or website, Leiden Children's Rights Observatory Case Notes. https://www.childrensrightsobservatory.nl/case-notes/casenote2021-10

    2020

    2019

    2010

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Yu V.P. (2010). Addressing Climate Change through Sustainable Development and the Promotion of Human Rights. (Research Papers / South Centre no. 34). South Centre.

    2023

    2020

    2016

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2016). Thinking Globally, Acting Regionally: The Case for a Pacific Climate Treaty. Pacific Islands Development Forum.

    2015

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J., & Gage A. (2015). Taking Climate Justice Into Our Own Hands: A Model Climate Compensation Act. West Coast Environmental Law .

    2013

    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2013). A Right to Enjoy Culture in Face of Climate Change: Implications for 'Climate Migrants'. (Centre of Governance and Human Rights Working Papers no. 6.). University of Cambridge.
    • Wewerinke-Singh, M. J. (2013). Climate Change, Human Rights and the International Legal Order: The Role of the UN Human Rights Council. (4CMR working paper series no. 4.). University of Cambridge.

    2009

    Media appearance

    • Wewerinke, M., de Jong, I., Adelman, S., Biermann, F., Burns, W., Cramer, W., Gonzalez, C., Hey, E., J. Kotzé, ., Lang, M. & Leach, M. (27-05-2022). Submission by members of the network of academics for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. Submission to the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on the Impact of New Technologies for Climate Protection on the Enjoyment of Human Rights: by members of the network of academics for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/2022-05/20220527-wewerinke-singh-leiden-university-SolargeoNUA%20.pdf

    Others

    • Wewerinke, M. (other), Comar D.I., (other), Doebbler C.F.J., (other) & Yamin F., (other) (12-3-2020). Amicus Curiae Brief of International Organizations and Lawyers in the case of Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana et al v United States of America, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (other). https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/final-brief-on-Juliana-justiciiability.pdf
    • Wewerinke, M. (other), Yamin F., (other), Comar D.I., (other) & Doebbler C.F.J., (other) (12-3-2020). Amicus Curiae Brief of International Organizations and Lawyers in the case of Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana et al v United States of America, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (other). https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/final-brief-on-Juliana-justiciiability.pdf
    • Wewerinke, M. (other), Comar D.I., (other), Yamin F., (other) & Doebbler C.F.J., (other) (28-2-2019). Brief of Amicus Curiae International Lawyers for International Law in the case of Juliana et al v United States of America, United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit (other). https://planb.earth/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Margaretha-Juliana-Amicus.pdf
    • Wewerinke, M. (other), Banks E., (other), Day J., (other), Gonzales Parra C., (other), Price S., (other), Sigamany S., (other), Simon J., (other), Halmo D.B. , (other) & Downing T.E. , (other) (2019). Response to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation's Questionnaire on the Impacts of Megaprojects on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (other).
    • Wewerinke, M. (other) (3-12-2018). Written Statement for the National Inquiry on the Impact of Climate Change on the Human Rights of the Filipino People, Republic of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights (other). https://scholarlypublications.universiteitleiden.nl/handle/1887/69440
    • Wewerinke, M. (other) (2012). Human Rights and Climate Change (other). https://sk.sagepub.com/reference/globalwarming2ed/n353.xml
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  • Ancillary activities
    • Blue Ocean Law
      Legal advice and representation in the field of international law.
    • Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations La
      Member of the Editorial Advisory Board
    • European Journal of International Law
      Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    • Advisory Council on International Affair
      Member of the Human Rights Committee
    • Netherlands Org. for Scientific Research
      Member of the Board, NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)
    • Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental La
      Member of the Advisory Board
    • The University of the South Pacific
      Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law
    • Global Network on Human Rights and the E
      Deputy Regional Director (Europe)
    • International Organization for Migration
      Member of the Technical Advisory Group, Pacific Climate Change Migration Program