In yet another manifestation of the “turn to rights” in climate litigation, a dozen cases seeking to spell out Member States’ obligations with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation under the European Convention on Human Rights have been brought before the European Court of Human Rights in recent years. These cases raise complex novel issues of human rights law. They are likely to make an indelible mark on the international legal landscape, notwithstanding their impact on ongoing domestic climate litigation efforts and, overall, on climate policies across Europe and beyond. To shed light on these developments, the Sabin Center’s Peer Review Network on Global Climate Litigation is hosting a half-day Conference on March 23, 2023. The Conference will include a general overview of the “Climate Docket” of the European Court of Human Rights as well as a detailed discussion of the three cases to be heard by the Court at the end of March 2023 (Duarte Agostinho and Others v. Portugal and 32 Other States, Carême v. France, and KlimaSeniorinnen v Switzerland). Furthermore, we will debate the variety of legal issues they involve, including the complainants’ victim status under the Convention, the attribution of responsibility, the legal standing of NGOs, the justiciability of “climate harm,” and extraterritoriality. We will hear from a wide range of perspectives thanks to the participation of leading academics, practitioners, activists, and members of the international judiciary.
Below is the breakdown of the topics covered by each panel:
Panel 1: Introduction to the Workshop and Climate Cases before the ECtHR (9.00 am EDT - 10.30 am EDT)