Cormac Cullinan


Cormac Cullinan is a director of South Africa's oldest specialist environmental law firm and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. A former anti-apartheid activist, he has practised, taught and written about environmental law and policy since 1992, has worked in more than 20 countries and has drafted a range of environmental treaties, legislation and policies. His groundbreaking book Wild Law A Manifesto for Earth Justice was the first book to define Earth Jurisprudence and it has played a significant role in informing and inspiring a growing international movement. In 2010 Cormac led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth which was proclaimed on 22 April 2010 by the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature and participated in the United Nations interactive dialogue on living in harmony with Nature in April 2011. In 2012 received the South African environmentalist of the year award. He drafted the Peoples’ Convention that establishes the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature and was the presiding judge at the Tribunal hearings in December 2015 in Paris. Cormac represents a diverse range of clients that include international organizations, governments, businesses (e.g. in the renewable energy, waste, manufacturing and hospitality sectors), cities, non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace Africa and local communities. His expertise includes: designing the “architecture” of public and private sector governance systems that promote sustainability, drafting contacts and legal instruments (ranging from international treaties and declarations to national, provincial and municipal legislation) litigating, advising businesses and social entrepreneurs on greening their enterprises, and developing legal compliance systems.