Online: Sept - December 2020

The Legal Path to Sustainable Development: Law and Development Training Programme 2020

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Registration is now open for online modules 4, 5, 6 and 7

A4ID’s flagship law and development training programme provides lawyers and development professionals with an in-depth understanding of the latest issues at the nexus of law and sustainable development, and how these relate to their everyday work.

Our 2020 programme covers topics spanning the different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explores how the law can be harnessed to reduce poverty, promote equality and protect the environment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the last four modules of our 2020 programme had to be postponed. We have decided to resume our programme from September 2020 as a virtual online training. Each of the modules will now be delivered as two separate half-day afternoon events by our trainers, who are experts in their respective fields.

We have reduced the fees associated with the programme in reflection of the changes to its delivery. We are also opening a low fee scholarship scheme for lawyers who wish to attend our programme, but may otherwise face financial barriers from accessing the course. Further details of this scheme are laid out below.

Why take this programme?

  • With just 10 years left to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is critical that the potential role of the law and lawyers in driving progress towards the SDGs is realised.
  • The private sector is increasingly integrating the SDGs into their business practice in order to better manage their risks, build positions in growth markets, and strengthen their supply chains. As companies seek advice about the legal and regulatory implications of aligning themselves with the goals, the SDGs are fast becoming an emerging area of practice for lawyers to provide responsible advice to corporate clients.
  • Equally, the SDGs provide an effective framework for law firms to evolve toward a more strategic approach to pro bono work. The programme’s last module will provide participants with cutting edge development tools to promote strategic, demand-led pro bono legal assistance and ensure that this work has a lasting positive impact.
  • Building knowledge of the bigger picture means that lawyers will deepen their understanding of and familiarity with key development issues and their legal contexts; thereby increasing their standing within the legal community and becoming more valuable to their firms.

Who is it for?

A4ID’s highly interactive programme is aimed at experienced lawyers and development professionals who wish to harness the law to reduce poverty, spur economic growth and preserve our planet. You need a legal background and the critical skills to apply your knowledge to a new area.

Download our brochure for more information about the programme.

Prices and bookings

Please note that the final four modules have been split into two half-day events – the half day events are referred to as a ‘session’. The programme is designed as a full course, but due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we have amended the fee structure to allow you to sign up to single sessions or entire modules.

We offer a 10% discount for A4ID Legal and Development Partners. Contact for your A4ID partner discount code.

For law firms:

  • A single module costs £210
  • A single session (half module) costs £105

For development organisations or charities:

  • A single module costs £157
  • A single session (half module) costs £78

For self-funding individuals:

  • A single module costs £140
  • A single session (half module)£70

Online bookings by credit card can be made on Eventbrite or if you prefer to pay by invoice, please contact

Reduced fee scholarship

We are offering a scholarship for up to seven applicants to attend the remaining four modules (eight sessions in total) of the programme at a highly discounted rate. The successful applicants will be able to participate in the remaining four modules for just £100 in total. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must demonstrate that they are unable to access the programme due to financial barriers.

To be eligible for the scholarship you must:

  • Self-fund the course and not be funded by your employer or university.
  • Commit to attending the full programme of remaining modules in 2020 (dates available below).

To be considered for the scholarship please email A4ID’s Learning and Development Officer, Naomi Cantor, at with your CV (two pages maximum) and a 500-word letter of intent that must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong case for why you are interested in this Programme and how it would benefit your professional development.
  • A proven commitment to international development or human rights, either in employment or in a volunteer capacity.
  • A clear plan for what specific activities, volunteer or otherwise, you intend to undertake in international development or human rights after the Programme.
  • An explanation for why the full rate would otherwise prevent you from attending.
  • A commitment to attending the full course of remaining modules.

Applications must be received by 9.00hrs (BST) on 28 August 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 2 September 2020 and must register and pay for the Programme within 7 days of notification.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Naomi Cantor at

Content and dates:

Harnessing the Law to Eradicate Poverty – PAST

Saturday 25 January 2020

The first session of the programme puts international development into context. Rising demand for natural resources, widespread land degradation and secretive land deals between governments and investors present major obstacles for millions of people around the world trying to feed themselves and their communities. After an initial introduction to the SDGs, this module will explore the interaction of SDG targets on poverty, hunger and ecosystems (SDGs 1, 2 and 15) with legal rights to food and land. We will consider how the law and lawyers often undermine the right to food, especially in the areas of property rights, international investment law and project finance. We will discuss how lawyers based in the UK might support human rights defenders struggling for secure access to productive land around the world.

Speakers will include Farooq Ullah, Stakeholders Forum and Ruth Kelly, University of York

Peace and the Rule of Law – PAST

Sunday 9 February 2020

Module two examines how strengthening the rule of law helps to promote peace and stability in developing countries. Michael Woolcock of the World Bank will discuss the need for strong, accountable and transparent institutions in developing countries to uphold the rule of law.

Dr Sarah Bracking of Kings College London, will then analyse the impact of political corruption on peace and development. Participants will study how corruption drains vital financial resources, which might otherwise fund economic and social development, and analyse the modern meaning and manifestations of corruption, as well as the impact of corrupt regimes and corrupt private sector actors on achieving the SDGs.

Speakers include Michael Woolock, World Bank and Dr Sarah Bracking, Kings College London

Putting People First: Legal Mechanisms to Reduce Inequalities – PAST

Saturday 7 March 2020

Module three addresses the legal and development challenges in realising the different SDGs that directly relate to people: health, education, gender equality and access to clean water. The session will highlight the legal frameworks that can help to reduce inequalities in terms of access to health, quality education and clean water and sanitation, as well as legislation to enforce gender equality.

The first speaker, Robert Yates of Chatham House will examine the legal determinants of health and the provision of universal health coverage. Peter Newborne of the Overseas Development Institute will then review the principal legal tools for formulating access to water rights, and consider the practicalities of bringing water infrastructure and access to marginalised communities in a low income country.

Equality Now’s Jacqui Hunt will discuss gender equality in law and practice, drawing on the NGOs advocacy experience, followed by Delphine Dorsi of Right to Education, who will explain the critical role of the right to education in sustainable development.

Speakers include Robert Yates, Chatham House, Peter Newborne, Overseas Development Institute, and Delphine Dorsi, Right to Education 

Business and Human Rights: Prosperity for All

In areas with weak regulation, large-scale construction projects can result in significant environmental and social damage, with no recourse to justice for those harmed. This module will explore the Equator Principles, which were developed by the International Finance Corporation to manage and mitigate the social and environmental risks of projects and to promote responsible development.

Alongside the Equator Principles, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), adopted in 2011, have become the key reference for human rights conduct by companies globally. Being a soft law tool in nature, the UNGPs triggered several hard law regulations to be adopted by several EU member states, Australia, and partly the US in the recent years.

The module will depict key developments and trends in the field of business and human rights internationally and use a practical case study to consider how human rights issues arise in the course of business. Participants will be encouraged to think about how lawyers can assist businesses to manage their human rights risks, whilst taking into account their own professional, legal and ethical responsibilities.

Session 1: 13.00-15.00hrs (BST) Saturday 5 September 2020

Responsible Project Financing for Sustainable Growth – Helena Anderson, Ikigai Capital

Session 2: 13.00-17.00hrs (BST) Saturday 19 September 2020

The UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights: Examining Key Developments and Trends and Advising Responsibly – Isabel Ebert, University of St Gallen and Anna Kirkpatrick, Clifford Chance

The Role of Law in Protecting our Environment

The UN climate change negotiations are amongst the most complex multilateral law and policy processes ever. Some developing countries lack the legal and technical capacity to participate meaningfully and effectively in those negotiations. This practical module will consider how the demands of developed and developing countries may differ, and explore the role that lawyers can play in enabling negotiations, and in particular assist countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, yet often least equipped to cope.

The Paris Agreement set ambitious goals for global climate policy but national and regional policy and business and investment strategies need to align with these goals to make them happen. This module will also will look at how law can be used to drive the integration of climate-related financial risks into business and investment decisions.

In the journey towards sustainable development, the negotiation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity appears as an essential step for the international community. In this context, the law has an important role to play, at the international, regional and national levels. This session will also explore how the law can better protect biodiversity and what are the legal challenges to overcome to be successful.

The second session also aims to familiarise participants with the concept of a circular economy, what this may mean in practice in term of policies including regulatory policy. It will cover the legal issues that may arise from international conventions and trade law, as well as in devising an impactful legal framework.

Session 1: 13.00-16.30hrs (BST) Saturday 3 October 2020

  • Climate Negotiations in Practice – Pascale Bird, Legal Response International
  • Climate Risk and the Power of the Law – Joanne Etherton, ClientEarth

Session 2: 13.00-16.30hrs (BST) Saturday 17 October 2020

  • How Can the Law Protect Biodiversity? – Thomas Deleuil – Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity
  • Towards a Circular Economy: Legal Opportunities – Maya de Souza, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Using the Law to Promote Sustainable Partnerships and Finance Development

The World Trade Organisation has been instrumental in trade liberalisation and globalisation, but its critics highlight the disproportionate benefits that have flowed to rich, developed countries and the marginalisation of the least developed. This module will focus on the trade system and how it impacts on sustainable development.

In addition, the module will explore why tax is fundamental for development and will outline what is being done to implement effective systems for tax collection and to close the mechanisms which enable tax avoidance and evasion.

Finally, participants will learn about the link between debt crises and development, as well as the opportunities and challenges that private sector technology presents for sustainable development.

Session 1: 13.00-16.30hrs (GMT) Saturday 31 October 2020

  • Global Trade and Development – James Scott, King’s College London
  • Tax Revenue: A Challenge for Development – John Christensen, Tax Justice Network

Session 2: 13.00-16.30hrs (GMT) Saturday 14 November 2020

  • Alleviating Debt for Sustainable Development – Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt Campaign
  • Technology and the Private Sector: Blockchain for Development – Areti Kampyli, Alice

The Sustainable Development Goals and Pro Bono in Practice

Situating pro bono legal assistance within an international development context, the final module of the programme will encourage participants to think about how they can develop more impactful pro bono projects that respond to the environment that they are operating in.

Drawing on the technical expertise of A4ID’s ROLE UK Programme, this module will introduce participants to a variety of development tools, including theories of change, the COM-B model for stimulating behaviour change among a target group, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks, which allow practitioners to measure the effectiveness of their pro bono assistance and build on the lessons learnt to improve future efforts.

Participants will also hear from Pro Bono Managers who have already begun to integrate the SDGs into their work. The insights provided by these case study firms will leave participants with a greater understanding of how their own work can contribute to the sustainable development agenda.

Session 1: 13.00-16.30hrs (GMT) Saturday 28 November 2020

Doing Pro Bono the International Development Way – A4ID

Session 2: 13.00-15.00hrs (GMT) Saturday 5 December 2020

Integrating the SDGs into Pro Bono Practice – Pro Bono Managers from leading law firms


Farooq Ullah - Stakeholder Forum

Farooq Ullah is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and a Director of Stakeholder Forum (SF); an international NGO advancing sustainable development through good governance and participatory decision-making at all levels.

Farooq also hold several non-executive positions. He is the Chair of Future Earth’s Engagement Committee, an Associate of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an Associated Partner of the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Farooq has also been appointed as a Peer to the 3rd International Peer Review Panel feeding into the 2018 German National Sustainable Development Strategy.

Farooq holds a BComm in Management Science from the University of Alberta (UofA) and an MSc in Public Policy from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Ruth Kelly - Centre for Applied Human Rights

Ruth Kelly is based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York. Her research looks at how storytelling can help activists in Uganda re-imagine development and human rights, in collaboration with international NGO ActionAid and Makerere University in Uganda. Since 2016, Ruth has been part of an AHRC-funded research network exploring art, archives and the political imagination with artists, activists, practitioners and academics from Bangladesh, Uganda and the UK.

Ruth is also deputy chair of the Electoral Reform Society’s governing council and has previously worked with ActionAid, Oxfam, UNDP and the European Commission.

Michael Woolcock - World Bank

Michael Woolcock is Lead Social Scientist in the World Bank’s Development Research Group, where he was worked since 1998. For thirteen years he has also been a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. His current research focuses on strategies for enhancing state capability for implementation, on crafting more effective interaction between informal and formal justice systems, and on using mixed methods to assess the effectiveness of ‘complex’ development interventions. In addition to more than 80 journal articles and book chapters, he is the co-author or co-editor of ten books, including Legal Pluralism and Development Policy: Scholars and Practitioners in Dialogue (edited, with Brian Tamanaha and Caroline Sage; Cambridge University Press 2012), and, most recently, Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action (with Matt Andrews and Lant Pritchett; Oxford University Press 2017). He was also co-founder of the World Bank’s global ‘Justice for the Poor’ program, which operated in a dozen countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific from 2002-2017. An Australian national, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and has an MA and PhD in sociology from Brown University.

Dr Sarah Bracking - Kings College London

Dr Sarah Bracking is a Professor in the School of Global Affairs, King’s College London and formally Senior Professor (SARCHi) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

One example of Sarah’s recent work on corruption explores the way in which Black Economic Empowerment policy in South Africa – a policy designed to catalyse economic growth and redress past racialised inequality – has opened up new opportunities for corruption, while also offering the prospect of private sector actors taking a stand against unfair markets. Sarah is author of The Financialisation of Power: How Financiers Rule Africa (2016), which brings together her work on corruption and the political economy of development.

Robert Yates - Chatham House

Robert Yates is a political health economist specialising in universal health coverage (UHC) and progressive health financing. He is Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House. He is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a long-term consultant to The Elders on their UHC programme.

His principal area of expertise is in the political economy of UHC, with a focus on advising political leaders and governments on how to plan, finance and implement national UHC reforms. He has previously worked as a Senior Health Economist with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Health Organisation, advising numerous governments in Asia, Africa and Europe on health financing policy and health system reforms.

He holds a BA degree in Natural Sciences and Economics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA, from the University of Leeds.

Peter Newborne - Overseas Development Institute

Peter Newborne is a specialist researcher and consultant on water policy and programmes. After practising as a lawyer with leading solicitors’ firms in London and Paris, where he specialised in commercial and financial matters, he took a Master’s degree in international environmental and development to work for the World Wide Fund for Nature-WWF and then for ODI, as Research Fellow and Research Associate. He carries out practical research and advocacy on water-related issues  in Europe and beyond, particularly in French- and Spanish-speaking countries.

Helena Anderson - Ikigai Capital

Helena Anderson is the managing director of strategic consulting firm, Ikigai Capital, focused on delivering the energy transition in the UK and emerging markets like Latin America and Africa. Prior to setting up the firm, she was head of energy capital investment at the UK Department for International Trade managing a project pipeline and delivering in excess of £5bn of investment into clean energy solutions in the UK last year. Helena also has 10+ years as a project finance lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, where her practice was focused on energy and infrastructure in the UK and Africa. She helped define the drafting standards for social and environmental risk in loan documentation working closely with international banks and the Equator Principles Association.

Isabel Ebert - Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

Isabel Laura Ebert is a research fellow at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Institute for Business Ethics (project ““Big Brother” in Swiss companies? Trust, data and personal privacy of employees”). Her research focusses on ethical questions regarding corporate data governance and privacy from a business and human rights perspective. Isabel Ebert has been leading the work on Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 2014 and since 2016 for the Western Europe area for the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, an international expert organization and information hub covering developments on Business and Human Rights worldwide, based in London. She holds a MA in International Relations from Goethe University Frankfurt and a BA in Politics and Management from University of Konstanz and Sciences Po Paris. She serves as the president of the Data Science & Tech Club at the University of St. Gallen.

Anna Kirkpatrick - Clifford Chance LLP

Anna Kirkpatrick is a Senior Lawyer in the international arbitration and business and human rights teams at Clifford Chance LLP. Anna has wide experience in international commercial and state arbitration and advising clients on international law issues, particularly investment treaty related issues and in relation to business and human rights. She has expertise in the energy, mining and construction sectors, gained honours in her LLM in Law, Governance and Development, with a focus on Business and Human Rights, and holds a Certificate in the Law and Practice of International Human Rights Law. She co-chairs A4ID’s Responsible Business Knowledge Group.

Pascale Bird - Legal Response Initiative

Pascale Bird coordinates Legal Response Initiative (LRI)’s legal advisory service. LRI is a London based charity that provides free legal assistance to poor and climate vulnerable developing countries and NGOs at the UN climate negotiations. She is a qualified solicitor and holds an LLM in International Business Law and an MA in Geopolitics, Territory and Security. Before joining LRI, she worked as an Associate and Professional Support Lawyer in the EU and Competition department of Simmons & Simmons. She also volunteered for Oxfam, project managing a book on climate change liability.

Joanne Etherton - ClientEarth

Joanne Etherton is an experienced pensions lawyer and is ClientEarth’s climate finance project lead.  Joanne’s work focuses on developing and implementing legal strategies to drive greater integration of climate-related financial risks into the investment decisions of pension trustees and other asset owners and asset managers in the pensions industry.

Prior to joining ClientEarth, Joanne was a pensions partner in the London office of international law firm, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, having previously trained and practised pensions law at Clifford Chance LLP. 

She is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute, holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Warwick and a diploma in International Employee Benefits (DipIEB) from the Pensions Management Institute.

James Scott - King's College London

James Scott is Lecturer in International Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. He works on global governance, with a primary focus on trade, and mainly with regard to the relationship between trade governance and development. James has an MA in Development Studies and a PhD in International Political Economy from the University of Manchester. He has published widely across the fields of trade, global governance, International Political Economy and development. He co-edited the recent books Trade, Poverty, Development: Getting beyond the WTO’s Doha Deadlock (2013), and Expert Knowledge in Global Trade (2015), both published by Routledge.

John Christensen - Tax Justice Network

John Christensen is an economist and former economic adviser to the UK and Jersey governments. He has played a lead role in campaigning for tighter regulation and control of tax havens and offshore finance centres.

John is the founder and director of the Tax Justice Network, an independent international network dedicated to high-level research, analysis and advocacy in the field of international tax and the international aspects of financial regulation.

Tim Jones - Jubilee Debt Campaign

Tim Jones is Head of Policy at Jubilee Debt Campaign, a UK charity working to end poverty caused by unjust debt through education, research and campaigning. He is a trained political economist, holding a first-class degree in Economics and Politics, and a masters with distinction in International Political Economy. Before joining Jubilee Debt Campaign in 2010, Tim worked for Global Justice Now for 8 years, campaigning on debt, trade agreements and climate change. His research on international debt has been widely cited in media including the Financial Times, Guardian and BBC.

Some recent works have included Sovereign debt crises: Stop bailing out reckless lenders (Oct 2019), Transparency of loans to governments: The public’s right to know about their debts (April 2019), Don’t owe, shouldn’t pay: The impact of climate change on debt in vulnerable countries (Nov 2018), Africa’s growing debt crisis: Who is the debt owed to? (October 2018).

Thomas Deleuil - Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity

Maya de Souza is the Head of Circular Economy Policy in Defra’s Resources & Waste Division. She has over 10 years of experience as a policy official in government, covering a range of policy areas: soil protection policy, flood risk management, greening government (procurement and operations) and circular economy. She also has over 3 years’ experience working with the business community on the environment in Hong Kong. Prior to her career in environmental policy, Maya was a lawyer in government and before that in private practice. She has a wealth of experience of policy and implementation issues that arise at a local level from her time as a local councillor in the London Borough of Camden. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and has an LLM from the University of London, as well as being a qualified solicitor.

Maya de Souza - UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Thomas Deleuil holds a Ph.D in public law from the University of Aix-Marseille (France). After working as a legal officer for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on international and European environmental law (including the servicing of UNFCCC COP20 and COP21, and drafting of the Paris Agreement on climate change), Mr. Deleuil joined the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York. During this time, his work focused on peacekeeping, international justice, judicial cooperation with international and national courts and tribunals, and privileges and immunities. He pursued these areas along with humanitarian law and human rights after joining the Legal Office of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Since January 2019, Mr. Deleuil is a legal officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Mr. Deleuil also pursues academic activities. His research focuses on public international law, international and comparative environmental law, sustainable development and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

“An excellent course for any lawyer with an interest in human rights and a desire to advise clients ethically and responsibly.”

Madelin Sinclair
Allen & Overy

“A great range of speakers, delivering an in depth but accessible level of information. Well planned tasks to assist in learning and a very good range of topics.”

Geoffrey Yussouf
Reed Smith

“Excellent set of courses tailored to all kinds of City lawyers. Gives attendees creative ideas of how to incorporate international and human rights law and best practice into their day-to-day role.”

Katrina Limond
Allen & Overy

“This has been the most stimulating study experience I’ve had in recent years; it has been a tonic against professional jadedness.”

Sergio Repka
Reed Smith

Law and Development Training Programme terms and conditions

By registering and paying for a place on A4ID’s Law and Development training programme, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.


We can only confirm your place on the programme once we have received payment.  There are two ways of paying:

  • Online when you register
  • By bank transfer – when we receive your registration we will invoice you with details of how to pay

If we have to make changes or cancel

We plan to run the training programme as advertised on our website and in our brochure.  If a speaker is unavailable, we will arrange for an alternative speaker, or occasionally we may have to reschedule the session and transfer your booking.  If the new date does not suit you we will refund your payment.

Occasionally we may have to cancel the programme or an individual module due to lack of bookings or unforeseen circumstances. If this happens, we will refund your payment in full but we are sorry we cannot refund travel or accommodation.

If you have to cancel

Please let us know by email as soon as possible if you have to cancel your place.  If we receive this notice more than 14 days before the start of the training programme we will refund your payment, less Eventbrite administration charges if you paid online.

If you have paid for the full programme and cannot attend one module, please note we will only refund the difference between the total price you paid and the price you would have paid if you had booked the other modules individually, so you may not get a refund.

We can’t refund your payment if you give us less than 14 days notice.  In exceptional circumstances, please explain in your email and we will consider this at our discretion.

Instead of cancelling, you can ask a colleague to take your place and send us their name and email.

Certification and CPD

We will ask you to sign an attendance register at the start of each session, and you will receive a certificate for all the sessions you attend.

The full programme is 38 CPD hours.

Data protection

We will only use your contact details to communicate with you about this programme, A4ID’s learning and training and associated work, unless you tell us not to contact you in future.  We will not share your details with anyone else.


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