Climate Litigation in the Global South Project

Climate Litigation in the Global South Project

Climate litigation is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, placing courts as essential players in climate governance to advance and protect human rights. Climate litigation in the Global South in particular, is utilizing human rights to push for greater ambition in adaptation and mitigation efforts, especially where governments’ responses to the causes and myriad impacts of climate change have been inadequate or inconsistent with applicable laws and policies.

Indeed, nearly 60 climate change cases have been identified in 18 Global South jurisdictions, with at least 11 of these filed in 2020 alone. Given this growing trend, scholars from the Global South are shining a light on the influence of the Global South in transnational climate litigation, illustrated by the inclusion of chapters dedicated to jurisdictions in the Global South in recent edited books, among other scholarship. However, more work needs to be done to identify the transnational issues that commonly cross national boundaries, and to understand these important issues from the perspective of the Global South. 

This GNHRE project, led by Maria Antonia Tigre and Melanie Murcott, and sponsored by the Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law, highlights advancements in, and obstacles to, climate litigation in the Global South, from the perspective of scholars and practitioners in the Global South, particularly in relation to the application and implementation of human rights. The project represents a space for Global South scholars and practitioners to share experiences and perspectives about the advances, opportunities, limitations, and challenges of climate litigation in the Global South related to the implementation and application of human rights, whilst gaining insight from an expert editorial team of established scholars with expertise in global/regional climate litigation and/or climate change law.

Through a series of engagements, beginning with a closed (online) workshop on 2 December 2021, and subsequent public events (during 2022), the project aims to amplify voices from the Global South and to culminate in the publication (in 2023) of articles in a dedicated special issue of a leading accredited human rights journal, and/or publication of chapters (shorter pieces) in a peer-reviewed edited volume, as well as possible blog posts on the GNHRE’s website, and other less formal platforms. For more information about the project, click on the links below or email us at gsclimatelitigation@gmail.com.

This project is supported by Felix Le Roux (Academic Associate and LLM candidate at the University of Pretoria) and Lavinia Bhaskaruni (LLM General Law Candidate at McGill University).