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Climate Change Litigation as Pluralist Legal Dialogue?

57 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2007  

Hari M. Osofsky

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law


This thought piece will focus on the following question: What are the implications of conceptualizing of climate change litigation as pluralist legal dialogue? Part II provides the conceptual framework of the article by introducing and interweaving law and geography, judicial dialogue, and legal pluralism. Part III of the paper uses the example of California's role in climate change litigation to explore the idea of substate actors as international lawmakers. Part IV of the paper considers the example of supranational climate change petitions to engage the complex informal role that these petitions play in making law. Part V of the paper draws from these examples to analyze how a pluralist approach might address issues of scale and formality, and the implications of a hybrid model of international lawmaking for the regulation of anthropogenic climate change. The paper concludes with reflections on the significance of how legal boundaries are drawn for the development of more effective approaches to transnational regulatory governance.

Keywords: climate change, legal pluralism, international law, judicial dialogue, law and geography

Suggested Citation

Osofsky, Hari M., Climate Change Litigation as Pluralist Legal Dialogue?. Stanford Journal of International Law, Vol. 26 & Stanford Journal of International Law, Vol 43, p. 181, 2007 (Joint Issue) . Available at SSRN:

Hari M. Osofsky (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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