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SepaRope-Workshop: Climate Litigation through a constitutional lens

Join the SepaRope consortium for a workshop discussing the phenomenon of the increasing number of turns to the courts in order to challenge State's unambitious climate policies, posing questions about the role of courts and the nature of judicial power.

12.01.2024, 09:00 -
12.01.2024, 17:30

Room A3.15@ Roeterseilandcampus - building A
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam

Registration link


Join the SepaRope team at the UvA on Friday 12 January for a workshop in tune with the times: Litigants and environmental movements increasingly turn to the courts to challenge States’ unambitious climate policies. Drawing especially on constitutional and human rights law, climate litigation pursues mitigation and adaptation measures and a just climate transition. As this phenomenon evolves, it poses ongoing questions about the role of courts and the nature of judicial power.

Short description:

Concerns about the legitimacy and potential overextension of courts continually collide with demands for systemic change and critiques of the law’s inherent limitations in providing global climate justice. In this one-day workshop, bringing together academics and practitioners, we will explore some of the key questions that arise in this context.

Panels will discuss:

(i) how courts engage with, interpret, and base their findings on scientific evidence;

(ii) whether and how climate litigation can provide redistributive outcomes;

(iii) how the identification of overarching legal concepts and norms constitutionalizes states’ obligations in the climate emergency;

(iv) how objections to climate litigation rooted in the separation of powers can be understood and potentially overcome.

This conference is organised by Christina Eckes and Corina Heri.

Confirmed speakers

Justine Bendel (University of Copenhagen), Andrew Jackson (University College Dublin), Kelly Matheson (Global Climate Litigation), Sarah Mead (Urgenda), Phillip Paiement (Tilburg University), Lea Raible (University of Glasgow), Annalisa Savaresi (University of Eastern Finland), Nele Schuldt (Ghent University), Wim Thiery (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh (University of Amsterdam), Gerd Winter (University of Bremen).

Full programme to be announced shortly.


This event is part of the ‘Separation of powers for 21st century Europe (SepaRope)’  research project between the Universities of Amsterdam, Gothenburg and Helsinki. Financed through the programme ‘NORFACE Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age’ funded by a group of European Academies of Science and the European Commission through the Horizon2020 Programme.

The workshop is also in cooperation with Sustainable Global Economic Law.