Brazil's National High Court Justice will be International Jurist-in-Residence at UH Law School

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Mar 24, 2016

Justice Antonio Benjamin of the National High Court of Brazil.
Justice Antonio Benjamin of the National High Court of Brazil.

Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin of the National High Court of Brazil, and a renowned leader in the global environmental law community, will be in Hawai‘i as the International Jurist-in-Residence at the UH William S. Richardson School of Law from March 28 to April 2, 2016.

Justice Benjamin has a full schedule for his week in Hawai‘i hosted by the Richardson Law School, including a public address on Thursday, March 31, at 11:45 a.m. at the Law School on “How Judges Confront Global Environmental Law Challenges.”

He also will give lectures and hold informal meetings with law students, spend time with the Chief Justice and Justices of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court and the judges of Hawaii’s new Environmental Court, and meet Governor David Ige and state legislators, and a cross-section of Hawaiʻi environmental lawyers.  His visit is hosted by the Case, Lombardi and Pettit law firm, which sponsors the Jurist-in-Residence program.  

Justice Benjamin is the Chair of the World Commission on Environmental Law, which is one of the six global commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  At the Law School, he will conduct an IUCN workshop with Environmental Law students as they prepare to participate in the IUCN World Conservation Congress (also known as the “Olympics of Conservation”) scheduled to be held in Hawai‘i from September 1-10, 2016.

The IUCN is a global consortium of nations, universities, institutes and agencies that are working to find pragmatic solutions for pressing global environmental and development challenges.  The UH Law Schoolʻs Environmental Law Program was recently admitted as a formal voting member of the IUCN.

“It is a genuine honor and pleasure to host a person of Justice Benjamin’s stature in the field of law and within the global environmental community,” said Law Dean Avi Soifer. “Our law students and our community are most fortunate to be able to meet him one-on-one and to hear his views on vital environmental issues. He is also a global leader in the growing trend to launch environmental courts as a major step toward a healthy and sustainable future.”

Justice Benjamin has had an extraordinary career that has taken him from 20 years of service as Assistant Attorney General of the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo, as well as head of the Environmental Protection Division for several years, to international prominence as founding President of both the Brazilian Consumer Law and Policy Institute and the Law for a Green Planet Institute.

He is a former member of Brazil’s Fulbright Alumni Association and a member of the UN Secretary General Legal Expert Group on Crimes against the Environment. He is also a professor at the Catholic University of Brasilia School of Law and, since 1994, has been a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

Said Associate Dean Denise Antolini,  “Justice Benjamin’s visit to Hawaiʻi helps us add a critical global dimension to our perspective on environmental law issues.  He is spearheading an international effort to support environmental courts and tribunals around the world, and looking to us in Hawaiʻi as the leader in the U.S.  Last May, he helped to train our Hawaiʻi environmental court judges by providing a video keynote address.  His extraordinary week-long visit to Hawaiʻi, six months in advance of the World Conservation Congress, helps our students, faculty and entire legal community prepare for Hawaiʻiʻs role on the global stage, not just in September for the IUCN Congress but for the long-term.  We are really delighted and honored to host Justice Benjamin, one of the worldʻs great environmental jurists.”

Media Advisory:

When:  Justice Benjamin will be available for interviews from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, at the UH Law School, and at other times by appointment.

What:  Public Lecture: Thursday, March 31, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., “How Judges Confront Global Environmental Law Challenges.”

Possible Talking Points:  The global impact of the next IUCN World Conservation Congress, which will be hosted by Hawai‘i in September; overview of why environmental courts are necessary and their challenges.

Contact: UH Law School Media Consultant Bev Creamer at (808) 389-5736.

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