Building a Human Rights-Based Climate Claim – Challenges and Approaches

Andreea Teodora CHILAN*

Abstract: Rights-based climate litigation has become more and more common in the recent two decades. However, plaintiffs encounter a multitude of issues in building a successful claim. The present paper aims at providing a critical overview of the most common challenges bringing such a claim entails. It will mainly focus on existing case law for exemplification of how the claims were built in both successful and unsuccessful climate litigations. Standing, causation and the basis of the claim will be assessed in turn in order to provide a way in which such issues are best addressed and handled before a court. While the legal requirements for standing differ from State to State, most of the times it is necessary that causation be thoroughly established. When it comes to the basis of the claim, a breach of the legal obligations assumed by States internationally needs to be interpreted in the light of an infringement of a human right that resulted from that breach. As such, due regard needs to be paid to the establishment of all these requirements when trying to assert a violation of a human right in a climate litigation case.

Key-words: climate litigation, human rights, standing, causation

*Public International Law LL.M graduate. The opinions expressed in this paper are solely the author’s and do not engage the institutions she belongs to.

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