Pedro Cisterna Gaete
Thesis title: The principle of equity in the climate law regime and the adaptation of the law: the case of informal settlements.
Pedro Cisterna Gaete is a qualified Chilean lawyer. He obtained his LLB Law degree from Universidad de Concepcion, and he holds an LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh. Currently, Pedro is undertaking his PhD in Law at the University of Edinburgh.
Before starting his studies at the University of Edinburgh, Pedro worked in the Chilean 'TECHO' for almost four years (2013-2017). TECHO is a Chilean NGO working with informal settlement communities in Chile and Latin America. Here, Pedro worked as the Legal Adviser of the southern Chilean zone. Then, he became the Regional Director of the organisation in the Bio Bio Region, working with more than 20 informal settlement communities across the region. Finally, Pedro was appointed as the National Deputy Social Director, managing the national advocacy strategies of the organisation, and developing public policy proposals for the Congress and the Government, seeking to improve the situation of informal settlements in Chile. This role also involved frequent presentations in different Congress Committees and meetings with various Ministers, advocating for the rights of the inhabitants of informal settlements.
In 2017, Pedro obtained a BECAS-Chile scholarship to study an LLM in Global Environmental and Climate Change Law at the University of Edinburgh (2018-2019), which he received with distinction. His LLM dissertation titled 'Intragenerational equity in international climate change law and implications for domestic application' proposes the implementation of the intergenerational equity principle at the national level.
In June 2019, while finishing his LLM, Pedro obtained a BECAS-Chile scholarship for studying a PhD, starting in September 2019. His PhD research focuses on adapting the law to protect vulnerable urban populations from climate change. This research involves the interactions and analysis of different legal fields named climate law, property law and urban law.
Currently, Pedro is a member of the Global Network of Human Rights and the Environment and the Global Network of Peer Reviewers on Climate Litigation, where he is the Special Rapporteur on the Inter-American System of Human Rights. In addition, he is collaborating with Nuestra America Verde to coordinate a legal response from Latin America to international climate conferences and Rumbo Colectivo, where he is cooperating with a just transition research project.
LLB (Universidad de Concepcion, Chile)
Admitted to legal practice in Chile.
LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law, with distinction (University of Edinburgh)
Responsibilities & affiliations
Special Rapporteur Global Network of Peer Reviewers on Climate Litigation , Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, University of Columbia.
Member of the Global Network of Human Rights and the Environment.
Convenor Environmental, Climate and Oceans Law Research Group, School of Law, University of Edinburgh. 2021-
Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Biobio, Chile in the course ‘Climate Change and Engineering’ (2019-2021).
Guest Lecturer at the School of Law, Universidad Austral de Valdivia, 2021.
Marking Assistant, LLM Global Environment and Climate Change Law, University of Edinburgh, 2021.
Climate Law, environmental law, property law, planning law, urban poverty, climate litigation, climate finance, and climate constitutionalism.
Current research interestsI am interested in the legal responses to climate change challenges, and the interaction of different legal fields, namely climate law, property law and urban law, in improving the protection of vulnerable communities to climate change. I usually follow the latest steps in climate litigation, such as the interactions between torts law and climate law to protect ecosystems threatened by extractive industries. In addition, judicial claims invoking the intra and intergenerational equity principle, identifying the new roles that states should take to confront climate change. Finally, the legal impact of climate negotiations and the development of climate proposals from the Global South is a field which I am following closely.
Past research interestsMy research interests have been mainly focused on the relationship between environmental law and climate law and vulnerable populations, mostly indigenous people and the urban poor. In addition, biodiversity and native forests are also part of some of my previous research.
Affiliated research centres
Current project grants
Becas Chile Scholarship for PhD overseas, 2019-2023.
Past project grants
Becas Chile Scholarship for LLM, 2018-2019.
Speaker, Sabin Center-UNEP Annual Conference on Global Climate Litigation, Panel 5: Climate change regionally: comparative perspectives. April 2022.
Speaker, "Medio Ambiente, Cambio Climático y Unión Europea”, Programa de Estudios Europeos, Universidad de Concepción.
Speaker, Human Rights Speaker Series: Social Rights and Chile’s Constitutional Moment, University of Essex. 20 October 2021, available at: https://www.essex.ac.uk/events/2021/10/20/human-rights-speaker-series,-c-,-social-rights-and-chile%E2%80%99s-constitutional-moment
Speaker, "Medio Ambiente, Cambio Climático y Unión Europea”, Programa de Estudios Europeos, Universidad de Concepción. August, 2021. available at: youtube.com/watch?v=1xcR9FdqKfE&list=PLZNFCjmxyqTRQXOcwbwns5IUVYMVkphF3&index=4
Speaker, Conversatorio Litigación Climática, estado actual, avances y desafíos para la litigación en Chile, organised by Chile Sustentable, January, 2021. available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehhpgt0xMXw
Speaker, Human rights and climate change adaptation in protecting urban poor, Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) Conference, Pretoria, 3- 5 September 2020
Speaker, 'The essentiality of the common but differentiated principle in the international climate change regime', Environmental Law Conference, University of Chile, Chile, June 2020
Speaker, “Popular preventive action as a restraint tool to the mono cultivation forest expansion”, exposed in the Students Seminar of Law and Environment, Universidad de Chile, 2013.
Speaker, “Situation of conservation and environmental preservation in Chile, with a view to the bill that establishes the Biodiversity Service and protected areas”, article published in the book “Second contest of the conference of university seminar of law and environment. Selected articles”, Universidad Diego Portales, 2013
Organiser, Before COP26: Promises and Prospects, University of Edinburgh. Presenter: Mr. Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer Climate Law, University of Edinburgh. Speakers: Daniel Bodansky. Prof. Bodansky is Regents' Professor of Law in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. Joyashree Roy. Prof. Joyashree Roy is the inaugural Bangabandhu Chair Professor at AIT. She lecture at the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate, School of Environment, Resources and Development, AIT, Thailand.
Organiser and Presenter, After COP26. Progress and setbacks, University of Edinburgh. Speaker: Cinnamon Piñon Carlarne, leading expert in environmental law and climate change law and policy. Prior to joining the Moritz faculty, she was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Marcelo Mena-Carrasco, scientist and professor turned activist and policymaker. He is the director of the Climate Action Center at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV).
- Author, Inter-American Commission on human rights' first resolution on the climate emergency: implications for climate litigation. Published in Climate Law Blog, Sabin Center, University of Columbia, April 2022. available at: https://blogs.law.columbia.edu/climatechange/2022/04/11/guest-commentary-inter-american-commission-on-human-rights-first-resolution-on-the-climate-emergency-implications-for-climate-litigation/
- Author ‘Climate Finance and Human Rights- a story of insufficient ambition’, published at Blog Series ‘Human Rights at COP26’, Global Network for the Human Rights and the Environment, available in: https://gnhre.org/community/cop26-climate-finance-and-human-rights-a-story-of-insufficient-ambition/ , December 2021.
- Author ‘The Escazu Agreement: Fostering future environmental cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean’, published at the Blog Symposium on the Escazu Agreement of the Global Network for the Human Rights and the Environment. Available in: https://gnhre.org/access-to-justice/the-escazu-agreement-foster-future-environmental-cooperation-in-lac/ , December 2021
- Editor, ‘Derechos sociales y el momento constituyente de Chile’, September 2021.
- Author, ‘Derechos humanos para la incorporación del cambio climático en la nueva constitución’ in ‘Derechos sociales y el momento constituyente de Chile’ available in: https://www.distritoglobal.org/assets/uploads/cisterna_derechos_humanos_para_la_incorporacion_del_cambio_climatico_en_la_nueva_constitucion.pdf , September 2021
- Author, "Ambición y equidad intergeneracional: Un comentario al reciente fallo del Tribunal Constitucional Alemán en Neubauer, et al. v. Germany (Ambition and the intergenerational equity principle: a comment to the decision of the German Constitutional Court in Neubauer, et al. v. Germany) . Available in: http://dacc.udec.cl/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/LAYC-N%C2%B02-Mayo-2021-Pedro-Cisterna.pdf , May 2021.
- Author, Human rights and climate change adaptation in protecting urban poor, Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) Conference, Pretoria, 3-
5 September 2020
• Author, 'The essentiality of the common but differentiated principle in the international climate change regime', published in the Environmental Law Journal, University of Chile, Chile, June 2020. DOI/URL: https://revistaderechoambiental.uchile.cl/index.php/RDA/article/view/54248
• Author, Challenges of the New Urban Agenda, Global Justice Academy Blog, University of Edinburgh, 2018, URL: https://www.globaljusticeblog.ed.ac.uk/2018/10/09/new-urban-agenda/
• Co-author of “Right to adequate housing in Chile: a view from the informal assessment (slums)”, article published in the “Annual report on human rights, Chile 2016, Centre of Human Rights, Universidad Diego Portales” URL: http://www.derechoshumanos.udp.cl/derechoshumanos/images/InformeAnual
• Author and exhibitor of “Popular preventive action as a restraint tool to the mono cultivation forest expansion”, exposed in the Students Seminar of Law and Environment, Universidad de Chile, 2013.
• Author and exhibitor of “Situation of conservation and environmental preservation in Chile, with a view to the bill that establishes the Biodiversity Service and protected areas”, article published in the book “Second contest of the conference of university seminar of law and environment. Selected articles”, Universidad Diego Portales, 2013