Dr Parvez Hassan (a Patron of the GNHRE) is Senior Partner at Hassan and Hassan (Advocates), Pakistan and a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He holds a Doctor of Laws from Harvard University; a Master of Laws from Yale University; and a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Punjab University.
Parvez has a wide range of international awards and honours, including inclusion on the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) ‘in recognition of outstanding practical achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment’ conferred in Stockholm, Sweden (1991); Honorary Membership of IUCN – The World Conservation Union for ‘outstanding services to conservation of nature and natural resources’ conferred at the IUCN – The World Conservation Congress in Amman, Jordan (2000); the Elizabeth Haub Prize (1998) in recognition of his status as ‘one of the world leaders in Environmental Law’ awarded in Brussels (2000); the 7th International Conference on Environmental Law in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2003, was held against the backdrop of ‘A Tribute to Parvez Hassan’. He was awarded a plaque ‘in recognition of his vision, leadership and commitment to a sustainable world’ and he won the Wolfgang Burhenne Award for his contribution to environmental law, awarded at the IUCN – The World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain (2008).
Parvez has extensive affiliations to the Government of Pakistan. He drafted the Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance, 1983 and is a member of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council, 1989 – 1998; 2001 – present. He is a member of the Pakistan Marine Pollution Control Board, 1994; Chair of the IUCN Legal Panel that drafted the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 and, alongside a wide range of other high level affiliations with the government, has pioneered and led environmental protection and sustainable development issues in Pakistan for over three decades. Parvez is also a well-known human rights activist, and as Acting Chairman of the All Pakistan Lawyers National Co-ordination Committee led the lawyers’ movement against General Ziaul Haq in 1983 and was brutalized by the police. He later participated in the lawyers’ movement against General Pervez Musharraf in 2007-2008 and was again brutalized by the police and arrested in November 2007.
Parvez has a wide range of past and present regional and international affiliations, including as: Consultant to Asian Development Bank, Manila; Consultant to UN ESCAP, Bangkok; Co-Chairman (with Ambassador Tommy Koh), Advisory Committee, Asia – Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, National University of Singapore; Member of the Asia Pacific Forum on Environment and Development. He was IUCN Regional Councillor for West Asia, 1984 –1987; Deputy Chair of the Commission on Environmental Law, 1989 – 1990; Chair of Commissions, 1993 – 1996; Legal Advisor, 1994 – 1996; Chair, Statutes Review Committee, 1994 – 1996 and was instrumental in the successful adoption of the Revised Statutes by the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Montreal in 1996. He was Member of the Steering Committee, Commission on Environmental Law, 1996 – 2004; Chair of the Commission on Environmental Law, 1990 – 1996, where, under his leadership the IUCN Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development was finalized and launched at the UN General Assembly in 1995. Dr. Hassan also led the establishment of regional capacity building centres for environmental law and was co-founder of the Asia – Pacific Centre of Environmental Law in Singapore. Parvez has twice been nominated as one of two candidates for the IUCN Presidency.
Alongside numerous other affiliations, both academic and legal, Parvez has a stunning history of public interest litigation, including the internationally-acclaimed case Shehla Zia vs. WAPDA before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which upheld the right to a decent environment as covered by the constitutionally protected fundamental rights to life and dignity (1994).
In February 2011, Parvez was appointed a Mediator by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Lahore Canal Road Widening Dispute which had generated a lot of public interest. The eighteen recommendations made by the Mediation Committee appointed by Parvez, including the declaration of the Lahore Canal Road area as a heritage urban park, were all approved by the Supreme Court in its landmark judgment (2011).
Parvez has written numerous articles on environment, law and national affairs in law journals and other publications in the U.S., Europe and Pakistan, and has organized and chaired international law conferences and presented keynote addresses all over the world. Parvez is on the Editorial Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment.