Scott Leckie has been particularly active in the area of human rights policy and institutional design efforts; work which is guided by the belief that innovation and creativity are often the missing links in global human rights initiatives. Some of the highlights of the past 20 years, include:
In 2021, he is coordinating major projects on developing the concept of Climate Displacement Havens as a tool for resolving climate displacement, as well as a feasibility study on the establishment of a new World Restitution Agency. He wrote his memoirs in 2021, and these will be published in 2022. In 2020, he wrote a lengthy report on climate change case law based on research on jurisprudence around the world. In 2019, he wrote a comprehensive legal analysis of land grabbing in Myanmar and worked with UNDP Uzbekistan on a report concerning a new Housing Code there. In 2018, he led a project in Nepal examining the response to housing damage caused by the 2015 earthquakes, as well as another project in Myanmar in 2018 advocating for the establishment of a National Climate Land Bank. He advised the Asian Development Bank on various HLP legal matters in Myanmar, as well as advising the UN on peace efforts in Syria. Also, in 2018, Scott co-founded the Podcast Jointly Venturing which explores issues linked to world citizenship and related themes.
In 2017 he worked in Myanmar on various initiatives designed to result in the establishment of a new restitution law and mechanism to enable refugees and IDPs to reclaim their former homes and lands. He also advised the UN on various aspects of the peace process in Syria, focusing in particular on restitution and related HLP rights issues currently under negotiation, and managed the completion of the first construction phase of new homes for climate displaced families in Bangladesh.
In 2016, he advised the UK Government and the Norwegian Refugee Council on programming on land and peace in Myanmar, and also designed plans to develop a Climate Land Bank in Myanmar. In the same year, he established the One House, One Family at a Time project in Bangladesh which accesses international funding to build homes for climate displaced families.
In 2015, Scott and Displacement Solutions were awarded one of the prestigious UN Sasakawa Awards in recognition of work in support of climate-displaced communities. His book, which he co-edited with Prof. Chris Huggins, Repairing Domestic Climate Displacement: The Peninsula Principleswas published by Routledge in mid-2015. In addition, he worked on the issue of land acquisition law in Myanmar, providing detailed advice to the International Finance Corporation in the country.
In 2014, his book Land Solutions for Climate Displacementwas published by Routledge based on fieldwork with climate affected communities in Bangladesh, Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. This work resulted in the first-ever global calculation of the amount of land required to provide new housing and land to people and communities displaced by climate change (12.5-50 million acres globally). Together with internationally-renowned photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen he backed the development of the Where Will We GoExhibition which documents climate displacement through photographs and films around the world.
In 2013, he completed work on a range of publications focusing on the acquisition of land for climate displaced persons and communities, including a widely heralded report entitled Finding Land Solutions to Climate Displacement: A Challenge Like Few Others. Also in 2013, he coordinated activities leading to the eventual adoption in August of the world’s first comprehensive normative framework on the rights of climate displaced persons and communities, The Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States.
In 2012, he worked extensively on various housing land and property rights themes in Myanmar, in conjunction with the political reform process underway there, and published several groundbreaking reports on HLP themes.
In 2011, he instigated the Bangladesh HLP Initiative which, in its first full year of operation, acquired 10,000 acres of land to provide new land-based solutions to families and communities displaced in Bangladesh because of climate change. In 2011, together with two colleagues, he edited The Climate Displacement Reader, published by Routledge/Earthscan. In the same year, he taught the world’s first law school course on climate change and displacement at the Australian National University, as well as providing HLP training to communities and government officials in Bangladesh and Kiribati.
In 2010, he helped to establish the Bhutanese Refugee Restitution Organisation (BRRO) which will seek restitution and compensation for Bhutan’s 110,000 refugees. During 2010, he completed, with a co-author, the book Housing, Land and Property Rights and Conflict, which was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. He also designed an intensive training programme on housing, land and property rights for communities affected by climate-induced displacement, and led a fact-finding mission to Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu to examine the displacement consequences of climate change.
In 2009, Mr. Leckie compiled for the first time, the entire legal code of Burma as it relates to housing, land and property rights which resulted in the 1245 page book, jointly authored by Zeke Simperingham, entitled Housing, Land and Property Rights in Burma: The Current Legal Code. In the same year, he completed the first practical handbook of its kind designed to assist persons displaced due to climate change to access new homes and lands. Also in 2009, he designed and established the Climate Change Land Fund, a fund developed to finance the purchase of new land for those displaced by climate change.
In 2008, he has devoted most of his time to exploring the links between climate change and displacement, focusing in particular on the issues as they affect the Maldives, Papua New Guinea and various Pacific Island nations. In 2007, he established Displacement Solutions and continued to work on a diverse range of issues relating to the resolution of ongoing displacement throughout the world. This included the primary authorship of the DS report Housing Timor and a variety of speeches and lectures addressing various displacement themes including the rights of Palestinian refugees and the need to address in greater detail, the rights of climate displaced persons to new and viable HLP options once forced to flee their homes due to climate change. In 2006, he developed the Burma HLP Initiative and the Bougainville HLP Initiative, both of which are designed to promote greater attention to HLP rights in these conflict-ridden countries.