Climate Change Litigation Before the European Court of Human Rights: How Senior Women from Switzerland Might Advance Human Rights Law
VerfBlog, 2022/5/16, https://verfassungsblog.de/climate-change-litigation-before-the-ecthr/, DOI: 10.17176/20220516-182357-0 .
6 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2022 Last revised: 6 Dec 2022
Date Written: May 16, 2022
Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland is the first case of climate change litigation before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) where all domestic remedies have been exhausted. The Chamber to which the case had been allocated relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber. This reinforces the potential of the case to become a landmark ruling determining the Court’s approach to climate change. Ambitious policy pronouncements on how to mitigate climate change in the distant future are in no short supply. Whether a judgement on the merits by the ECtHR in the matter of ‘KlimaSeniorinnen’ will count as a ‘success’ should therefore not solely be determined on the basis of the ‘message’ such a decision will convey. Rather, a judgment that merits the status of a landmark ruling must go beyond such symbolism and establish a firm interpretative link between international law on climate change and human rights law.
Keywords: climate change litigation; human rights; ECtHR; European Court of Human Rights; Paris Agreement; climate change; mitigation; strategic litigation; public good
JEL Classification: K32, K33, K41, H41, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation