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group photo with the governor

Alumni from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law played a key role in securing a historic settlement in the Navahine v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation case, announced by Gov. Josh Green on June 20. This resolution, led by youth plaintiffs, mandates transformative actions for Hawaiʻi’s sustainable future and acknowledges the constitutional rights of the state’s youth to a life-sustaining climate.

This highlights the impact of UH law school alumni on environmental justice. It is vital for the people of Hawaiʻi as it sets a precedent for proactive climate action and the protection of constitutional rights.

“At a time where the role of law is ever present, the transformative work of Richardson Law alumni shines through,” said UH law school Dean Camille Nelson. “The impact of Richardson alumni in this case and its settlement is a stellar example of the ways in which they have made a difference in our communities, both near and far. Their intellect, hard work, expertise and commitments have contributed to a monumental settlement, one that will serve as a leading light in many other jurisdictions.”

UH law school alumni Isaac Moriwake, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific Office, emphasized the role Richardson alumni played in the case. Their understanding of Hawaiʻi’s legal principles and community connections were pivotal in shaping and resolving the case.

In her role of leading community engagement for the case, UH law school alumnus Marti Townsend noted that this case fulfills the government’s climate obligations to children and Native Hawaiians.

UH law school alums Kylie Wager Cruz, senior attorney of Earthjustice, and Joanna Zeigler, attorney at Our Children’s Trust, also supported and represented the plaintiffs. In addition, UH law school alumna Ciara Kahahane represented the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation as deputy attorney general.

For more information, see the UH law school website.

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