Climate Litigation in the Global South Project: Project Events

Project Events

The first GNHRE Project on Climate Litigation in the Global South event was successfully organized on 2 December 2021 via Zoom. The workshop ran from 8 am to 12 pm NY time, and we welcomed Global South authors and editorial team members from different corners of the world. Although the very first event of the GNHRE Project was held online due to the constraints brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that at least some of the project’s future events will take place in a hybrid fashion and that we will meet some of you in person soon.

Closed Online Workshop, 2 December 2021

The structure of the workshop was such that all project participants were given an opportunity to introduce themselves in an opening session, where we also debated how we understand key terms for purposes of this project (particularly the term “climate change litigation”). Thereafter, we held thematic discussions of about an hour each, where contributing authors were asked to spend 5 minutes or so each “informally” introducing their abstracts, followed by discussions about how to develop the authors’ ideas amongst the participants in attendance. All sessions were recorded and shared amongst participants.

Abstracts discussed at the workshop and the programme for the workshop are available here and at the bottom of this page.

Adopting a transnational/comparative, Global South perspective related to the application and implementation of human rights, questions discussed at the first round opening workshop included:

  • How is climate litigation defined in the Global South? How does that compare to the “traditional” definition in the Global North?
  • What are the principal commonalities and distinctions between climate litigation in the different regions of the Global South? Between the Global South and the Global North?
  • How are climate change cases framed in the Global South (for example, as procedural rights challenges, environmental rights challenges, property law claims, tort/delictual claims, etc.), why are climate change cases framed in these different ways, and what are the implications of this framing for human rights?
  • Who are the plaintiffs/applicants in climate litigation in the Global South? Who are the defendants/respondents?
  • Which arguments have been successful in the decisions of Global South courts and tribunals, and what are some of the advantages and/or disadvantages of these arguments related to the application and implementation of human rights, and what are some of the implications thereof for climate litigation in the Global South?
  • How, if at all, are the rights to a healthy environment, dignity, life, and access to water, food, housing and/or the rights of the child, recognized in applicable domestic law, and used in Global South climate litigation, petitions, and decisions?
  • Are arguments concerning the right to a safe/stable climate being advanced? If so, how?
  • How is international law being invoked in the Global South climate litigation and decisions? In what ways (if at all) does international law advance climate action in pursuit of the fulfilment of human rights?
  • Are there useful comparisons or contrasts between climate litigation in the Global South that focuses on an activity (e.g. challenging permitting procedures) vs. systemic cases (e.g. challenging law or policy gaps or a lack of implementation)?
  • How does or could climate litigation in the Global South use ‘pre-existing environmental problems’ (air pollution, deforestation, etc.) to advance climate action and human rights in the form of pursuing adaptation and mitigation measures?
  • To what extent and how are the voices of indigenous people represented in climate litigation in the Global South, and how could these voices be amplified in pursuit of relevant human rights?
  • From a practical standpoint, how can we better track climate litigation cases in the Global South given the difficulties in accessibility (language, lack of uniform databases, etc.) to advance human rights?
  • How are litigation strategies built in the Global South? Are the petitioners/defendants chosen organically or strategically?
  • How are corporations filing lawsuits against the state for compensation as a form of anti-climate litigation?

Please email us at gsclimatelitigation@gmail.com if you have any questions about our events.

Programme and Abstracts