Global Judicial Institute on the Environment advances judicial portal

Members of the Global Judcial Institute on the Environment met with UN Environment in Vienna to further develop plans for the Judicial Portal. 

Justice Antonio Benjamin, Eva Duer, and Marc Clément with the web designer

The Joint Working Group comprised of the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment (GJIE), and United Nations Environment (UNE), led by WCEL Chair Antonio Benjamin, met with Eva Duer, who is the head of the InforMEA project for UNE, on 24 July 2018 at the UN Headquarters in Vienna to discuss the design of the Judicial Portal. Members of the GJIE Interim Governing Committee decided in their meeting in March that the Portal should not reinvent the wheel. Instead, GJIE will partner with prestigious academic institutions to help provide unbiased legal and scientific content.  

WCEL and GJIE began developing plans for the Judicial Portal earlier this year, and the Joint Working Group started technical preparations after initial meetings with UNE in March at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasília, Brazil. GJIE representatives also joined the InforMEA Steering Committee Meeting on 5 June 2018 in Montreux, Switzerland in person, such as Judge Marc Clément, and remotely, including Justice Antonio Benjamin, Justice Brian Preston, Justice Ragnhild Noer, and Justice Michael Wilson to present their views on the Judicial Portal.

The Vienna meeting advanced the design for the Judicial Portal. Members of the Joint Working Group and Ms. Duer worked with a web designer to create the layout, structure, and initial design of the Portal. The Portal will consist of three main sections: Inform, Judicial Network, and E-Learning. Users will be able to search for environmental jurisprudence and legislation from around the world, access commentaries from judges on landmark decisions, and take online environmental law courses. The Judicial Portal will also provide GJIE Members with a secure communication platform to discuss environmental jurisprudence.

The Judicial Portal is partnering with UNE’s InforMEA and ECOLEX to provide environmental law content to the judges. The Portal’s purpose is to be a only “for judges, by judges,” giving it a distinct new role to play alongside InforMEA and ECOLEX. Although it is designed for judges, a portion of the portal will be open to the public, including content on jurisprudence, legislation, and news. Together, these three platforms provide a powerful resource for the environmental law community.

This ambitious project to provide access to environmental jurisprudence from around the world will enable access to court decisions that were previously difficult to locate. Although building a database of this magnitude will happen progressively rather than instantaneously, the Judicial Portal will ultimately provide access to environmental jurisprudence to everyone, opening research across diverse geographic regions and advancing research and application of the environmental rule of law globally.

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