Colette Pichon Battle to deliver the 2023 Annual Justice Lecture hosted by LFJL and SOAS

October 26, 2023

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) and the Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS University of London are honoured to announce that Colette Pichon Battle, renowned climate justice advocate and lawyer, will deliver the 2023 Annual Justice Lecture. 

This year's Lecture, Climate Justice: From Katrina to Derna, in Pursuit of Accountability, will take place at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre at SOAS University of London on Tuesday 21st November 2023 at 7.30pm. Doors will open at 5.30pm, with a welcome address and a remembrance for the victims of the Libya Floods taking place at 6.30pm.

The Annual Justice Lecture is an opportunity for legal and human rights experts to draw on international experience and explore urgent questions of justice in Libya and in a global context.

In the aftermath of Storm Daniel that battered eastern Libya, causing an unprecedented level of destruction and a death toll of over 4,000, this year’s Lecture delves into increasingly urgent questions on the broader global implications concerning climate change, government negligence and rampant corruption that obstruct the quest for justice for those most affected by major natural disasters.

Colette Pichon Battle is the co-founder of Taproot Earth, a nongovernmental organisation that builds power and cultivates solutions among frontline communities advancing climate justice and democracy. She is a trusted voice in Black liberation movements and has gained recognition for her outstanding use of the legal and judicial process to achieve environmental goals. Her 2019 Ted Talk on the need to radically restructure our response to climate change has been viewed over 3.5 million times.

This Lecture will explore the sobering reality where disasters, while being inherently natural, often expose deep societal inequalities and create a surge in human rights abuses, worsened by mismanaged disaster funding, both in conflict-affected contexts such as Libya as in the Global North.

LFJL Director Elham Saudi said: “We are honoured to welcome Colette Pichon Battle to deliver this year’s Annual Justice Lecture. It is an invaluable opportunity to explore how governmental negligence and corruption can turn natural disasters into man-made tragedies. We are confident her experiences in seeking justice for the victims of Katrina will help in seeking accountability for the victims of the Libya Floods, and beyond." 

Lutz Oette, Co-director of the Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS, said: “Drawing on the international experience of a distinguished climate justice expert like Colette Pichon Battle will bring a fresh perspective and a new voice to the conversation around accountability, climate justice and disaster management in Libya.”

We welcome you to join us on this special evening.

Watch the full lecture here.

Notes to Editors

Tickets are free to encourage participation by all. We kindly encourage attendees to donate to support LFJL in its ongoing work for human rights and justice in Libya.

The event will be live streamed on LFJL’s Facebook page with interpretation for Arabic-speakers.

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) was established in 2011 in response to the 17 February 2011 uprising in Libya. It exists and works for the promotion of justice, human rights and the rule of law in Libya. It aims to integrate justice throughout the processes of Libya’s transition and beyond, to ensure that they and their outcomes are rights based and victim centred.  LFJL is both a leading member of Libyan civil society and a recognised international actor with Libyan expertise. It aims to use this position to support Libyan civil society and to ensure that international policy is informed by accurate analysis of national circumstances. 

The Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS, University of London, seeks to advance research and the teaching of human rights law and engages in standard setting and policy-making processes concerning the protection of human rights. SOAS is the leading higher education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. With a vast repository of knowledge and expertise on our specialist regions, it is uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the economic, political, cultural, security and religious challenges of our world. SOAS ranks in the top 35 of UK Universities in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Our 2022 Annual Justice Lecture, Building Justice: Criminal Accountability and the Road to Peace, welcomed the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack to explore how international criminal justice fits into post-conflict transition and tangible efforts for peace.

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