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Partnership will bring together students from India and UK to advance climate justice

The Dickson Poon School of Law has partnered with two Indian universities to launch an LLM module that will help students identify legal remedies for communities impacted by climate change.

Vehicles try to drive through a flooded street in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The module, Transnational Remedies for Environmental Harm with Clinical Legal Education, is a partnership with West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) and Jindal Global Law School (JGLS).

LLM Students who select this module will be taught to identify transnational legal remedies for rising sea-levels and extreme weather events such as cyclones. The module will be taught jointly by staff from the three universities, with Sue Willman, Lecturer in Law and Assistant Director of the King’s Legal Clinic, and Dr Emily Barritt, co-Director of the Transnational Law Institute, contributing from King’s.

This module aims to educate the lawyers of tomorrow to consider the legal responsibility of the global North to those who are experiencing the worst end of climate impacts.– Sue Willman, Lecturer in Law and Assistant Director of the King’s Legal Clinic

Students from India and the UK will be studying together to facilitate cross-cultural learning. The module will incorporate clinical legal education - where students work directly with clients, supervised by legal practitioners. The announcement of this new module comes hot on the heels of the recent agreement by the UK and Indian governments to recognise each other’s higher education qualifications, and follows an existing project involving students from the three universities looking at how to support displaced communities in the Sundarbans, a low-lying area straddling the India-Bangladesh border.

Krishnendu Mukherjee, Barrister and Indian Advocate at Doughty Street Chambers and co-founder of the Sundarbans Climate Justice Project, said: “As a British-Indian lawyer, I welcome the India/UK agreement, the educational partnership and the Sundarbans Climate Justice Project. They show the real initiative that is needed to break through the old structures and thinking to tackle the environmental disaster unfolding all around us.”

The new module was announced by the Vice Chancellor of West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Professor Nirmal Kanti Chakrabarti, as he opened an international conference, Against the Hungry Tide: A Conference on legal and extra-legal remedies for Climate Justice in the Sundarbans, in Kolkata on 23 and 24 July 2022. The conference was organised by the NUJS Legal Aid Society with support from the King’s Legal Clinic and Doughty Street Chambers. Guests included the Deputy British High Commissioner, Nick Low; Dr Kalyan Rudra, Chairman of West Bengal Pollution Control Board; Balamurugan K., Chief Environment Officer, Government of West Bengal; Ritwick Dutta, a noted environmental lawyer and founder and Managing Trustee of the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE); and Justice (Retd.) Madan B. Lokur, former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

The speakers and panellists included a former United Nations Working Group representative, Indian lawyers, academics, social activists, and community members from the Sundarbans delta.

In this story

Emily Barritt

Emily Barritt

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law

Sue Willman

Sue Willman

Assistant Director of King's Legal Clinic and Lecturer in Law (Education)