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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Call for Papers: Global Climate Change Litigation and The Paris Agreement: Perspectives from the Global South and Global North

Published: 25 February 2022
A poster promoting the seminar.

Call for papers for the Seventh Annual Rule Of Law And Sustainable Development Seminar presented By Southampton Law School, UK and Te Piringa Faculty Of Law, University Of Waikato, New Zealand to be held on Thursday 6 October 2022.

The seventh Rule of Law and Sustainable Development seminar will provide an opportunity to compare global climate change litigation and pose critical questions concerning the influence of climate change litigation on the implementation of the Paris Agreement at a national and regional level, as well as the impact of the Paris Agreement on litigation to improve mitigation and adaptation in jurisdictions.

Ultimately, the seminar aims to determine how climate change litigation has contributed to the development of climate change law, and how future climate change litigation might be used to best effect.

The German Constitutional Court recently delivered a ground-breaking decision in relation to climate change mitigation. Neubauer et al, is noteworthy as the Court held that the Federal Climate Change Act of 12 December 2019 governing national climate change targets and the annual emission amounts allowed until 2030 are incompatible with fundamental rights.

The Constitutional Court dealt with the intertemporal nature of fundamental rights, which is a welcome contribution to the discourse on intergenerational equity and human rights. The Hague District Court (Hoge Raad) in another trailblazing judgment has ordered Royal Dutch Shell to reduce the emissions of the Shell group by a net 45% in 2030, compared to 2019 levels, through the group's corporate policy. 7

The Court cited human rights risks associated with climate change and held that companies must respect human rights. The Court held further that the responsibility of companies extends to suppliers and customers. Furthermore, the nation of Vanatu is currently leading the charge to seek an advisory opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice.

These cases represent an ongoing trend of climate change litigation, including past judgments, such as the Urgenda case in the Netherlands or the Leghari case in Pakistan, which have been the subject of burgeoning legal literature on climate change and litigation. While these cases do not have direct implications on foreign jurisdictions they may have an indirect influence on decisions of other courts in the context of transjudicial communication. Furthermore, climate change cases deal with shared issues and provide useful insights into the relationship between climate change and human rights, intergenerational equity, corporate responsibility and beyond.

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract (not exceeding 400 words) that deals with climate change litigation to Werner Scholtz ( or Nathan Cooper ( before 6 August 2022.

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