Climate Change

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UNHRC is Turning up the Heat: Human Rights Violations Due to Inadequate Adaptation Action to Climate Change  

1. Introduction In its highly anticipated decision in Daniel Billy at al. versus Australia (“Torres Strait Islanders case”), issued on 23 September 2022, the UN Human Rights Committee finds that by failing to implement timely and adequate adaptation measures, Australia is violating CCPR rights of several Australian citizens who are residents of the Torres Strait Islands. This decision falls in line with the importance accorded to climate change in the context of human rights by this and other UN human rights treaty bodies in previous decisions and general comments (e.g. here, here, here, here and here), and the reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs (for example, see the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food (A/70/287 and A/70/287); Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment (A/HRC/43/53, A/74/161, and A/HRC/40/55); Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights (A/HRC/41/39); and the establishment of the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change in…

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Struggles to Reconcile Theory and Politics: Comments on the Revised Draft Convention on the Right to Development

The 23rd session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development (IGWG) was held from 16 to 20 May 2022 to discuss the Revised Draft Convention on the Right to Development (RD). This is the second and the latest draft of the convention, after the Zero Draft (ZD) was released in January 2020.

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The Children are the Future – Or Not? Exploring The Complexities of the Relationship between the Rights of Children and Future Generations

This piece addresses an issue of growing importance in international human rights law (IHRL): namely, the relationship between children’s rights and future generations’ rights. This matter is particularly pressing in the context of the growing body of standard-setting, scholarship and practice in the areas of climate justice and environmental protection. However, it has also been a longer-standing (albeit…

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Victim Status before the ECtHR in Cases of Alleged Omissions: The Swiss Climate Case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced on Friday, 29th April, that the Swiss Climate case will be dealt with by the Grand Chamber. In accordance with article 30 of the ECHR, the competent Chamber relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber. This option can be used when the seven…

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Energy Lessons from the Ukraine Crisis

It is a cliché that wars are fought over energy access.  It is just as trite to point out the illegality of military action to secure energy resources for oneself or to deny energy access to adversaries.  As sanctions against Russia and against Ukrainian separatist regions come into focus, energy access again comes front and center.  Germany’s…

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