Global Climate Constitutionalism and Justice in the Courts

Global Climate Constitutionalism, Forthcoming

16 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2018

See all articles by James May

James May

Widener University Delaware Law School

Erin Daly

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: September 18, 2018

Abstract

This chapter explores developments at the boundary between environmental constitutionalism and climate justice. We see two trends. First, a growing group of countries now expressly address climate change in their constitutions. Second, courts from diverse parts of the world are recognizing that governmental inaction in the face of climate change can abridge a right to a healthy climate as implied by an express constitutional right to life, dignity or due process, or the right to a healthy environment. These trends are likely reflective of an emerging worldwide phase in constitutional litigation.

Part II conceptualizes and contextualizes what has come to called ‘climate justice,’ that is, the social and economic consequences of the disproportionate effect of climate change. Part III details the extent to which countries have adopted express constitutional means to address governmental inaction about climate change. Part IV then reports on how courts have engaged these and associated provisions. We conclude that climate constitutionalism has significant potential for shaping how the rule of law can contribute to climate justice, especially at the domestic level.

Keywords: environmental law, constitutional law, environmental constitutionalism, climate justice, climate change

JEL Classification: K32, K10

Suggested Citation

May, James and Daly, Erin, Global Climate Constitutionalism and Justice in the Courts (September 18, 2018). Global Climate Constitutionalism, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3251620

James May (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

Erin Daly

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302-477-2143 (Phone)
304-477-2257 (Fax)

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