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Climate Change Litigation (Part 2)

Brian Preston


In the absence of an international treaty to address climate change, litigation provides an alternative path to encourage mitigation of the causes or redress for the effects of climate change. This article focuses on causes of action that have been used, or could be used, to litigate issues relating to climate change. Part I of this article, published in the previous issue of this Journal, explored how plaintiffs at the national level have brought private law causes of action in tort (public nuisance, negligence, civil conspiracy, misrepresentation) and under trade practices legislation. Part II outlines how public law causes of action in administrative law (merits review, civil enforcement and judicial review proceedings) or constitutional law (enforcement of a constitutional right) have been used domestically and in a range of international fora including the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or regional human rights courts.


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