Current Developments

Land ahoy? Solutions for Statehood in a post climate change world

Climate change is expected to cause receding coastlines due to rising sea levels. Geological formations like islands, rocks, reefs and other low-tide elevations would be permanently submerged, and this would affect the control of States over the sea if the baseline measurement changed with them. In fact, some low-lying States could conceivably lose their rights to exploit their territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to their land territory …

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Call for ContributionsClimate JusticeSymposium

International law in an age of catastrophe

Call for Contributions for a symposium on Climate Justice

We live in an age of catastrophe. This is not alarmism. Rather, denying this would mean disregarding all scientific evidence we have. At the beginning of this new decade, Australia is literally on fire and Indonesia under water. 2019 has marked the year in which the climate crisis has finally entered broader public debate, with protesters around the globe demanding that governments take the threat seriously and significantly increase the …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

A significant opening

On the HRC’s groundbreaking first ruling in the case of a ‘climate refugee’

The Human Rights Committee (HRC) has just added to the many important international legal developments of the young decade and issued its first ruling on the case of a “climate refugee”, i.e. a person fleeing their home country because of the effects of climate change. This post analyses the groundbreaking ruling which increases the pressure on states to take action against climate change and explains its significance (see the full …

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Interview

Whose rights? Whose justice? (Second part)

An interview with Marta Torre‑Schaub on climate liability and climate justice

Völkerrechtsblog is pleased to present the second part of the interview with Marta Torre‑Schaub. In this section, we will discuss the status of the Amazonian forest in international law, the importance of national litigation for climate protection and questions of climate justice for the most vulnerable states and groups. This completes the picture of legal liability under international law for environmental damage in the field of climate change. Given the vulnerable …

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Interview

Whose rights? Whose justice? (First part)

An interview with Marta Torre Schaub on climate liability and climate justice

The urgent need to combat climate change seems widely accepted. Nonetheless, the measures taken so far have remained ineffective while irreparable environmental damages are constantly augmenting and threats to the human existence increase. For instance, last summer’s Amazon fires have caused concern around the globe. Prof. Stephen M. Walt (Harvard) recently raised the question of whether “states have the right – or even the obligation – to intervene in a …

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Current Developments

Climate change in the Security Council

On the road to qualifying climate change as ‘threat multiplier’

Wildfires are heating the Earth from the Arctic to the Amazon, islands are drowning, and the record for the hottest year has been broken every year since 2015. No one would doubt that climate change causes these events. Despite people from all continents protesting in the streets to urge decision-makers to eventually take action to help combat climate change, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has not taken any binding measures …

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Interview

Quel droit? Quelle justice? (Deuxiéme partie)

Une interview avec Marta Torre Schaub sur la responsabilité et la justice climatique

Völkerrechtsblog est ravi de vous présenter la deuxième partie de l’interview avec Marta Torre‑Schaub. Dans cette partie, nous parlerons du statut de la région Amazonienne en droit international, de l’importance des contentieux nationaux pour la protection du climat et de la Justice climatique envers les États et les groupes les plus vulnérables. Ces éléments complèteront le tableau de la responsabilité juridique en droit international pour les dommages causés à l’environnement dans …

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Interview

Quel droit? Quelle justice? (Première partie)

Une interview avec Marta Torre Schaub sur la responsabilité et la justice climatique

Il ne paraît guère nécessaire de répéter l’urgence demandée pour lutter contre le changement climatique. Néanmoins, les mesures prises jusque‑là sont restées ineffectives, les dommages irréparables pour l’environnement augmentent. De plus en plus ils menacent également l’existence humaine. Un exemple qui a attiré l’attention mondiale était l’incendie de la forêt amazonienne au Brésil. Le Professeur en sciences politiques Stephen M. Walt (Harvard) a récemment soulevé la question de savoir si …

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Current Developments

(Un-)Precedented?

The relevance of the Urgenda case to the Children vs. Climate Crisis Communication

The communication brought by sixteen children before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to address the effects of states’ inaction on climate change seems at first glance unprecedented and foreign to our common ideas about international environmental law. Yet, as the Urgenda case shows, a rights-based approach to climate change is not wholly unheard of. Individual communications to the Committee on the Rights of the Child              The fact …

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Current Developments

International climate change adjudication: A means to amplify voices of the global south?

Traditionally, the UN Climate change regime has been premised on an intergovernmental negotiations paradigm where political actors play the dominant role in the development of norms. In this post, I argue for using international adjudication as a supplementary tool to complement international negotiations. Adjudication, which entails the participation of impartial, third‑party decision makers, might help us overcome blind spots of negotiations by redistributing argumentative burdens and providing an expressive function …

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