Melinda Janki is an international lawyer of over 30 years standing. She holds an LL.B from University College, London and two masters degrees in law – the BCL from Hertford College, Oxford University and an LL.M in public international law from University College, London. Melinda was admitted to practice as a solicitor in England in 1988 and as an attorney-at-law in Guyana in 1994.
Melinda started her legal career in the City of London. She has advised international financial institutions, governments and multinational corporations including oil companies. Melinda’s human rights work includes advising the West Papuan peoples on their right to self-determination under international law, defending the rights of the LGBTIQ community and opposing the death penalty.
Melinda is currently challenging dangerous deep water petroleum production offshore Guyana.
Melinda features in a new article published by the Guardian, highlighting EXXON’s oil drilling which poses a major environmental risk.
Please take a look at my YouTube channel for the latest interviews. Melinda discusses the Guyana government’s plans for massive oil/gas build out in a climate emergency.
Recently featured on the Climate Curious: How the Guyanese people are fighting big oil podcast
- Melinda heads the legal team for the first climate change constitutional case in the Caribbean, challenging oil and gas development offshore Guyana. https://www.reuters.com/article/climate-change-litigation-latam-idUSL5N2NE6RQ https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2021/05/23/landmark-climate-change-caseapplicants-tell-court-exxons-oil-projects-would-emit-billions-of-tonnes-of-greenhouse-gases/
- Litigation cutting ExxonMobil’s environmental permits down to 5 years https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020/10/30/court-brings-exxons-liza1-permit-in-line-with-the-law-reduces-20-years-term-to-5-years/
- Introducing environmental impact assessments into national law, including impacts on climate and oceans
- Preservation of 2,300 square miles of Amazonian forest – working with the WaiWai to enable them to create a WaiWai owned and managed protected area. Their story is told here.
- Successfully lobbying for a fundamental right to a healthy environment to be put into the Constitution of Guyana
- Introducing into the Constitution of Guyana the principle that national well-being depends on preserving clean air, fertile soils, pure water and the rich diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems
- Introducing the concept of ecological integrity into national law
- Changing national law to guarantee collective land ownership for Amerindian peoples
- Forcing government to demarcate Wapichan land at Sawariwau
Melinda has worked on projects in Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Guyana, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovenia, South Africa, St. Lucia, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the UK and the USA, and advised on matters in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Serbia, Venezuela and West Papua.