Legal support matters
The international negotiations under the UNFCCC are amongst the most complex multilateral law and policy making processes ever. Meetings are characterised by the use of technical jargon, reference to legal principles and procedural norms. The delegations of industrialised countries therefore include specialised experts, lawyers and other support staff.
Negotiators from poor and climate vulnerable developing countries can rarely rely on a similar backing. They represent societies that have hardly contributed to the problem and are often already affected by climate related disasters and extreme weather events. In the negotiations they are regularly outgunned.
In order to create a more level playing field, LRI provides free advice on a rapid response basis, briefing papers that translate complex information into accessible formats, and legal capacity building.
In response, the LRI was set up in mid-2009 by lawyers from Oxfam GB and WWF-UK, and a number of practicing barristers and solicitors in London. Since then, LRI has attended all sessions of the Conference of the Parties and intersessionals meetings.
LRI has won the Financial Times European Innovative Lawyer Award (category climate change and sustainable energy) and was the British Legal Awards Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year in 2010.
LRI became independent from its founding institutions in October 2010 and became a registered charity (registration no. 1147043) in April 2012.