The Constitutional Dimension of Climate Litigation
Lunch Talk with Sam Bookman (Harvard Law School)
24 March 2022 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. (CET)
This event is part of the online symposium "Comparative Climate Litigation in North-South Perspective" co-organized by Ecologic Institute with Verfassungsblog and Völkerrechtsblog.
Since October 2021, researchers from all over the world have been writing articles on the topic of climate litigation from a North-South perspective. The authors come from both the Global North and the South, including India, Latin America, Africa and Indonesia. The contributions depict, for example, the development of climate lawsuits in the respective regions of origin or deal with specific issues such as the role of the right to health or the role of the courts. In the week from 21 March to 25 March 2022 two to three articles will be published daily as blog posts on the websites of the Verfassungsblog and Völkerrechtsblog.
At a lunch talk on Thursday, 24 March 2022, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (CET), one of the authors of the symposium, Sam Bookman from Harvard Law School, will speak about his latest research topic "What happens when you win? The constitutional dimensions of rights-based climate litigation". With him, we will draw the line to and discuss the first insights of the symposium.
As a graduate and teacher fellow at Harvard Law School, the American Sam Bookman focuses his research on the connection between constitutional law and environmental protection. In doing so, he combines comparative case studies with normative-theoretical analyses. The topic of our online symposium inspired him to the following statement:
"The Climate Crisis represents a comprehensive and worldwide governance failure. In the face of pervasive inaction, activists and lawyers across the world have turned to a new set of tools: lawsuits grounded in constitutional rights. From Germany to Colombia to Pakistan, the last few years have seen a "rights turn" in climate litigation. Remarkably, many of these claims have been successful. These cases force us to ask a new question: what happens when you win? How should such developments be evaluated in constitutional terms?"
The event was made possible through the kind support of the Stiftung Mercator.