Climate Change & Law Essay Competition


Climate Change, Sustainable Development and the Law: Governance Challenges and Innovations

Deadline: 15 October 2016

* What are the most pressing legal and governance challenges in responding to the threats and opportunities of climate change?

* How can local and national law be harnessed for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, especially the new Paris Agreement?
* Which innovative legal and institutional instruments and practices hold potential to help address these challenges, at national or local levels?

* How can climate law and governance innovations be implemented across diverse sectors for more sustainable development?

The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), in cooperation with the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) at the University of Cambridge, the Centre for Research on Climate Resilience (CR2) at the University of Chile, and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) of the University of Nairobi, is delighted to announce this year’s student legal essay competition on…  

"Climate Change, Sustainable Development and the Law: Governance Challenges and Innovations"

The legal essay competition is open to students of law and related fields at the undergraduate and graduate level, from all regions of the world. Students from least developed countries are especially encouraged to apply. Papers should be a maximum of 10 pages in length (single-spaced), and address a current international, regional or local legal research or governance challenge relating to climate change and sustainable development, identifying or proposing innovative legal instruments which might provide solutions to the challenge.

The international gold, two silver and three bronze award-winning entries will be announced in a special awards ceremony at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (CoP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco, and will be published internationally by the CISDL in 2017. The best entries will receive a $300.00 USD prize (Gold Award) and $200.00 USD prizes (for each of the Silver Award winners). 

Applicants should indicate whether they will be present in Marrakesh during CoP22, as all successful finalists will be invited to prepare a brief oral argument based on a hypothetical climate litigation fact pattern provided, for a special moot during Climate Law and Governance Day 2016 on the 11th of November.  ‎

Please send entries, along with a 200 word biography, to the 'Climate Essay International Jury' at <> by 5pm EST, 15 of October 2016.

Entries will be considered on a rolling basis, so candidates for the award are warmly encouraged to send their applications early.

For further details about Climate Law and Governance Day, and international law on climate change, see: and

Closing Date: