Building on the impact of UCLA Law and The Promise Institute for Human Rights as leading voices in human rights law and policy, The Promise Institute Europe is placing UCLA students, faculty and research at the center of the international human rights arena in Europe.

For more information about the program:

Sign Up for Promise Europe’s Emails Visit Promise Europe’s UCLA Law Page

Launch Conference
May 27-29, 2024

The Promise of International Law in the Face of Ecological Crises

In the wake of an escalating planetary crisis, the year 2024 stands as a pivotal moment for international law. This conference in Amsterdam seeks to explore and harness law’s transformative power, reimagined through the lens of racial and environmental justice, to confront the challenges of our time.

For more information, contact Kate Mackintosh:

Accountability in the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Promise Europe Executive Director Kate Mackintosh and Faculty Director Máximo Langer are providing legal advice to Ukrainian authorities on the prosecution of conflict-related environmental damage, which, unusually, are being given center stage in Ukraine’s high-level accountability strategies.

Russian aggression in Ukraine has devastated the country, its people, and not least its natural environment. The Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) has identified a number of targeted attacks on objects containing dangerous forces, such as dams and nuclear facilities; on oil depots and other energy facilities; on special-value territories such as protected nature preserves, and on the country’s territorial waters as issues of potentially grave environmental concern.

The United Nations Environment Program Rapid Environmental Assessment of the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam concludes, ‘without reservation…the Kakhovka dam breach is a far-reaching environmental disaster; the scale of which might not be clear for years or even decades to come.’ All told, the environmental consequences of hostilities have been extremely severe—and sometimes irreversible.

Promise Europe Executive Director Kate Mackintosh presents in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 2023

Collaboration with the International Criminal Court

Promise Europe is working with the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to develop a policy paper on environmental crimes, led by ICC Special Adviser Kevin Jon Heller.

As the interdependency of human well-being and the wider environment becomes ever more clear, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is turning his attention to the role he can play in ensuring accountability for grave environmental harm under the terms of the Court’s statute.

In 2024, Promise Europe, its students, and faculty, are partnering with Special Adviser Heller and the Office of the Prosecutor to support and contribute to the consultation phase of this important process.

The Crime of Ecocide

As the inaugural Executive Director of The Promise Institute, Kate Mackintosh led efforts to have severe and widespread or long-term damage to the environment recognized as an international crime. Her work is continuing as she helms The Promise Institute Europe.

Learn More about Ecocide Law

UCLA Law in The Hague

UCLA law students who are interested in international law and human rights engage in a full semester’s internship with an international organization in The Hague, visit the United Nations in Geneva, and follow a class taught by Executive Director and veteran human rights lawyer Kate Mackintosh.

Innovating Legal Education

In collaboration with Amsterdam-based agency Imaginal, Promise Europe brings human-centered design, systems thinking and storytelling techniques to UCLA Law its unique course, the Human Rights Challenge.