ERI works with lawyers across the world who are standing up for the power the people to defend their human rights and the environment. ERI offers workshops and courses for lawyers that expand on the legal training from their home countries and focus on human rights, environmental or indigenous law. This curriculum covers the mechanisms and tools available to legal professionals who advocate for the protection of earth rights. Our legal trainings build on the local and international expertise of this network, preparing lawyers to prevent earth rights abuses and to demand justice for those already facing abuses and exploitation. This element of ERI’s training program represents a crucial link between our three pillars of training, field-based campaign work and legal advocacy.
ERI has conducted legal trainings with a broad range of partners, from young advocates against mega-projects in the Mekong region, to public interest lawyers in Mongolia to indigenous legal advocates from across Latin America. Specific topics for ERI’s legal trainings have included public interest strategic litigation, legal tools for environmental advocacy. ERI has also conducted know-your-rights trainings in the Amazon and elsewhere, working with a range of participants including youth and indigenous communities.
Mekong Legal Advocacy Institute (MLAI)
Through the Mekong Legal Advocacy Institute (MLAI), ERI offers a forum where young legal professionals and campaigners in the Mekong region can learn strategies and tactics from senior lawyers. MLAI provides a platform for them to share experiences and to learn from senior public interest lawyers. Professional advocates familiar with the Mekong legal context impart the skills and topic expertise that they know will prepare young lawyers to be effective earth rights defenders. It’s also a platform for lawyers to coordinate action on environmental and social issues and to focus on strengthening decision-making processes around development projects.
Mekong Legal Network (MLN)
ERI supports the Mekong Legal Network (MLN), an independent group of experienced earth rights legal professionals and civil society leaders from the region who convene to strategize and coordinate legal actions. Members of MLN include professionals in Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as other international supporters who are committed to reducing earth rights abuses. MLN creates a safe space to discuss legal advocacy related to regional investments, transboundary legal mechanisms, and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), with the goal of promoting access to justice in the Mekong region.
Amazon Indigenous Seminar
As a part of our legal training program, ERI organizes seminars focused on the legal challenges and campaigns of earth rights defenders from indigenous communities. Together, they learn and gain skills from each other and other experts in the field. These seminars put legal power back in the hands of those who need it most, as participants exchange knowledge with international and regional experts, connecting the local to the global.