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.