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09 March 2023

Law research student supports 'one-stop' resource on global climate litigation

Efsane Erdoğan, a third year PhD student at The Dickson Poon School of Law, provided extensive support to the Global Network Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) project, sponsored by the Transnational Law Institute, on Climate Litigation in the Global South.

A landscape view of mountains behind arid grass.

Against a backdrop of proliferating worldwide climate litigation cases, the GNHRE project, Climate Litigation in the Global South, was created to highlight the contributions and challenges for Global South scholars and practitioners within the field, and to also address the ‘myriad of structural and systemic barriers to the emergence of Global South scholarship on climate change’. The GNHRE Climate Litigation Project plans to become part of a broader movement and the global conversation on how to overcome these obstacles.

Climate litigation increasingly places courts as essential players and centres a human rights-based approach, with the objective to protect and advance human rights, particularly for communities that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The GNHRE states that ‘nearly 60 climate change cases have been identified in 18 Global South jurisdictions, with at least 11 of these filed in 2020 alone’. At this rate, climate litigation cases are likely to multiply even further, with significant rulings expected across the globe in 2023.

Efsane Erdoğan, a third-year PhD student from The Dickson Poon of Law contributed to both the research and editorial aspects of the project.

Efsane’s involvement largely centred around the academic publication phase of the first round of the project and creating an annotated bibliography of resources, with the intention of making climate change law and litigation-related academic studies accessible to interested researchers. For analytical clarity, the bibliography divides climate law and litigation scholarship into regions and provides an extensive resource on climate law.

In addition to the bibliography, Efsane was also involved in organising workshops, public events, writing blog posts, and the editorial process of compiling articles that will be appearing in a special collection of the Journal of Human Rights Practice later this year, as part of the first phase of the project.

I believe it is a one-stop-shop-of-a-kind resource for academics, practitioners and students who have an interest in climate law in general. The bibliography includes diverse scholarship on climate change law and litigation, written particularly by the Global South Scholars. I can say that it is a living bibliography as we regularly add new resources to the bibliography to keep it up-to-date.

Efsane Erdoğan, PhD Student, The Dickson Poon, School of Law
A dark haired woman is smiling in front of a blurred background of buildings.
Efsane Erdoğan

Efsane’s involvement as a research assistant ended with the first round of the project, but the second round of the project will continue and focus on “The significance of climate litigation for vulnerable groups in the Global South”.

This project was led by Dr Maria Antonia Tigre (University of Columbia) and Dr Melanie Murcott (University of Pretoria), and sponsored by the Sabin Centre for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, and the Transnational Law Institute, King’s College London.