University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wisconsin International Law Journal Annual Symposium

Friday, April 6, 2018

“Sustainable Development and Human Rights: The Necessity of a  Common and Transversal Agenda”

Symposium overview

Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay,
Keynote Speaker

The year 2015 was a historic year for environmental protection in many respects. The international community adopted the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The concept of sustainable development has had a long and winding road culminating in the adoption of the SDGs in 2015. However, sustainable development and sustainability have remained rather elusive concepts - hard to define and hard to achieve.  The SDGs thus are a welcome and long-overdue development as they provide measurable goals and targets. From the Brundtland report in 1987 to the Rio Declaration in 1992 and the adoption of the SDGs in 2015, the global community took close to three decades to flesh out the parameters of sustainable development. This symposium seeks to discuss the three pillars of sustainable development as articulated by the global community in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development (1995) and endorsed later by the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development (2002) – environmental protection, economic development and social development - and discuss how SDGs intersect with them using environmental law, human rights and environmental justice as overarching frameworks.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Confirmed speakers

Dr Sumudu Atapattu, University of Wisconsin Law School
Professor Rebecca Bratspies, CUNY School of Law, New York
Professor Duncan French, University of Lincoln, U.K.
Professor Erika George, University of Utah
Professor Joshua Gellers, University of North Florida
Professor Carmen Gonzalez, Seattle University School of Law
Professor Lakshman Guruswamy, University of Colorado at Boulder
Rukshana Nanayakkara, Transparency International Secretariat, Germany
Professor Usha Natarajan, The American University in Cairo, Egypt
Professor Ileana Porras, University of Miami School of Law
Professor Sara Seck, Dalhousie University, Canada
Professor Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, University of Waterloo, Canada & Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL)
Professor Christina Voigt, University of Oslo, Norway


Full program with bios and abstracts

Logistics memo to speakers


Attendance is free and walk-ins are welcome but in order to facilitate planning, please register HERE

Approved for 8.0 hours of CLE credit for WI Attorneys. 


JD grants, UW Law School
Global Legal Studies Center, UW-Madison
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison
University Lectures Committee, UW-Madison
Office of Sustainability, UW-Madison
Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence, UW-Madison
Laurie Carlson Progressive Ideas Forum
WI Experience grant, UW-Madison
International Practice Division, State Bar of Wisconsin

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