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Environmental and climate rights in Africa: what happens when courts have a say 
Veronica Federico (University of Florence)
Tracy-Lynn Field
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Veronica Federico (University of Florence)
Tracy-Lynn Field
Law (x) Climate Change (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 12
Friday 2 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel explores the courts' role in granting environmental and climate rights in Africa, to advance knowledge on courts as active actors in the creation of an "African way" to environment protection, and on the African climate litigation's contribution to globalising environment constitutionalism

Long Abstract:

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights was the first regional instrument establishing that "African peoples have the right to a general satisfactory environment favorable to their development" (art. 24). The content of this right, recognized and re-elaborated by the majority of African constitutions and legal systems, has been called upon and clarified in a growing jurisprudence which is particularly relevant in the context of the contemporary climate and biodiversity crisis. Those cases include an extensive African jurisprudence, often characterized by innovative legal reasoning. Nonetheless, this caselaw tends to be overlooked and excluded by global North conceptualizations of climate change litigation. And yet, the relevance of the perspectives brought into the "global market of ideas" by African courts holds true for both academic theoretical speculation and the forging, as well as the concrete enforcement, of environmental and climate rights.

The context in which African courts adjudicate environmental and climate rights has never been more complicated than it has been in recent years, hence investigating the courts' role, their legal reasoning and eventual cases of strategic litigation offers invaluable opportunities to analytically discuss contemporary challenges in the field of environment and climate protection in Africa.

The panel discusses this growing body of African jurisprudence with a view (1) to understand the courts' role in environment and climate protection; (2) to enquire the relation between environmental and climate change litigation; and (3) to try to ascertain whether it is possible to conceptualize an "African way" to climate and environment litigation

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -