Uppsala Forum Guest Lecture: An “Attack on the Separation of Powers”? The Legitimacy of Climate Change Litigation in Global Climate Governance. A case study of judges’ arguments in the United States
- Date: –16:00
- Location: Zoom
- Lecturer: Jasmina Nedevska, Princeton University, USA; Discussant: Yaffa Epstein, Faculty of Law, Uppsala University
- Organiser: Uppsala Forum för demokrati, fred och rättvisa
- Contact person: Daniel Hedlund
Pointing to climate change related injury, citizens are increasingly turning to courts in order to take legal action against their governments. Some lawsuits, such as Juliana v. United States and State of the Netherlands v. Urgenda, have been the focus of extensive public debate. Views critical of climate change litigation are often based on the ideal of separation of powers in constitutional democracies. Yet, very little research has been done on climate litigation in respect of this ideal.
The United States is a developed system of checks-and-balances that has seen a comparatively large amount of climate lawsuits. This project uses the United States as a case, investigating the extent to which such a system can avoid a conflict between climate change litigation and the ideal of separation of powers. The project consists in three different argumentation analyses of opinions and dissents by judges in American climate lawsuits. The aims are to find out to which extent a conflict 1) is expressed, 2) is avoided by individual judges and 3) is jointly avoided across ideological dividing lines, respectively.
Part of the work will be conducted at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science.
Jasmina Nedevska is a 2019-2021 James Madison Program Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University. Her teaching and research are in the fields of political theory, legal theory and environmental ethics. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Stockholm University and a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden.
on Why Care About Future People’s Environment? Approaches to Non-Identity in Contractualism and Natural Law (2018) was nominated for Högskoleföreningen’s award for distinguished scientific achievement. She is presently developing a project regarding climate change litigation and the attitudes of judges.