Date of Award
Faculty of Law
Climate change, Climate litigation, Environmental law, Human rights, Hybrid courts, Transnational law
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Climate change is a complex and transboundary problem poised to become increasingly worse unless concrete action is taken by all parties concerned to stem the catastrophe and dial back the levers to climate collapse. The brunt of climate change is being felt across the world but particularly in Global South countries with limited capacity to mitigate the damage caused by these changes. To respond to this challenge, governments acting in concert under the auspices of the UN as well as domestically are putting in place laws aimed at stemming the tide. However, legislation has come up short owing to a number of factors including economic and social considerations, corporate interference in the political process of rule-making, and the lacunae in the climate laws of various countries. These shortcomings underscore the place of climate litigation as a complementary tool for climate regulation as well as remediation. But even litigation, especially transnational climate litigation, has its own shortcomings represented in questions of extraterritoriality and sovereignty, issues of fora, conflict of laws, causation, standing, and enforcement of foreign judgments. For the Global South particularly, the extra challenges of weak institutions, incapacity of personnel, and partiality (whether perceived or actual) further serve to constrain effective transnational climate litigation, limiting access to justice generally and marginalizing Global South voices in the emergent legal regime on climate change being written through case laws. I propose that hybrid courts will be able to address the twin issues of extraterritoriality of cause of action, and the need to mainstream Global South voices in the emergent legal regime on climate change. I argue this possibility by contemplating the architecture of hybrid courts which integrates national and international law structures including personnel and laws, as well as the funding necessary to procure much-needed capacity to infuse legitimacy into the process and respond to the extraterritoriality questions.
Nwokolo, Ifeanyi Emmanuel, "Adapting Hybrid Courts to Drive Transnational Climate Accountability" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8921.