Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Climate change and legal theory… domestic v international

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-03


"International Consensus & U.S. Climate Change Litigation" (abstract or 42 pp PDF) by Andrew Long, (appropriately given the topic, from Florida Coastal School of Law) is well worth a read.

It advocates that international conventions and international expert committees inform domestic US court decisions, touches upon constitutional law, but also argues for the utility of such an approach, for the world, for efficient administration in the US, and for US international standing.  (It’s also a pre-press edition, and therefore contains "normtive" (sic) typos.)

Should domestic courts explicitly use norms derived from international treaties and customary law in deciding climate change cases?  If so, in what ways?  The answers to these questions turn partially on the legitimacy—derived from U.S. legal tradition and constitutional principles – of using international sources in domestic decisions, and partially on a more functionalist assessment of the value or effect of such use.

The same arguments (except where delving deep in US constitutional law) apply anywhere, particularly in an Australia still suffering the "Howard Hangover", so I hope it is read by our legislators, lawyers, and environmental activists.

You can see some of my thoughts on litigation relating to climate change in the following:

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