In-Person Event: Tackling climate change in the courts and on the ground

Tuesday 23 May 2023


This event was brought to you by the Garden Court Environmental Law and Climate Justice Team.

Date: Tuesday 23 May 2023
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm (followed by a drinks reception)
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ  
Cost: Free
Areas of Law: Environmental Law and Climate Justice , Civil Liberties and Human Rights , International Human Rights , International Environmental Law , Garden Court International , Climate Change and Fossil Fuel Production , Environmental Protest , Environmental Impact Assessments , Rights of Nature and Protection of Habitats , Pollution , Protest Rights , Protest Rights

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The Garden Court Environmental Law and Climate Justice Team discussed challenges to woeful carbon emission reduction targets around the world, environmental pollution, and the prosecution of climate protesters. Our speakers also considered the key policy and legislative proposals for limiting climate breakdown.

Irena Sabic KC chaired the event.

Topics included:

  • Recent domestic and international cases
    Marc Willers KC provided an overview of the latest developments in climate litigation, including the Swiss Senior Women case heard in the ECtHR in March 2023 (KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz v Switzerland). He also discussed Aghaji and Garforth v Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, challenging the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, MCS, Richard Haward Oysters v SSEFRA, which aims to compel the Government to rewrite its Storm Overflows Discharges Reduction Plan, and Finch v Surrey County Council and Horse Hill Developments Ltd (with Friends of the Earth Ltd interveningto be heard in the Supreme Court in June 2023. Marc also discussed an international appeal to the Privy Council brought on behalf of the inhabitants of Barbuda in several challenges against the state, to be heard in May 2023. 
  • Using international law and human rights in climate litigation: challenges and strategies
    Paul Clark discussed some of the key challenges of using public international law, and human rights in particular, in the fight against the climate emergency - as well as strategies for overcoming such challenges. In so-doing, he considered developments in recent domestic and international cases, as well as key litigation to watch out for. This included the international case of Duarte Agostinho and Others v Austria and 32 other Member States, where Garden Court members have been instructed to represent 6 Portuguese youth applicants who filed a multi-state climate change complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. 
  • Environmental protestor rights
    Paul PowleslandOwen Greenhall and Audrey Cherryl Mogan, of the Garden Court Chambers Protest Team, outlined recent developments in case law and the impact of measures including injunctions as well as the fear of prosecution and contempt of court for environmental protestors and those working to campaign against climate change in the criminal and civil courts. 
  • Legislative and policy campaigning
    Oliver Sidorczuk is the co-director of Zero Hour, the campaign advancing the Climate & Ecology Bill in the UK Parliament. His background is in Westminster advocacy campaigns, including the (UK) Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill, and a focus on poverty prevention and democratic reform.

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