Climate Change Liability


Course Content

Some claim climate change litigation to be the only strategy that holds
out any promise of being a magic bullet against climate change. Others
consider it a threat to an economic system we need in our transition to
carbon neutrality. Apart from these policy considerations, the course
will address the technicalities of climate litigation. Six leading
climate cases will be extensively discussed. In each case, a legal
doctrinal issue is singled out and elaborated on. As will become
apparent, climate change litigation essentially is a special branch of
tort law. In order to understand climate change litigation, we therefore
have to heavily draw on general tort law principles. The course thus
fosters not only our knowledge of climate change litigation in
particular, but also of tort law in general. The first and the last part
of the course deal with policy considerations. The parts in between deal
with specific cases of climate litigation and tort law concepts.

The course includes:
Part 1 Policy considerations; introduction
Part 2 Cases against companies
• New York vs BP et al
Standing and Jurisdiction
• Mileudefensie vs Shell
Negligence; what constitutes a tort?
• Lliuya vs RWE AG
Causation and proportionality; attribution science
Part 3 Cases against states
• Urgenda vs De Staat der Nederlanden
Human Rights
• Greenpeace Nordic Association vs Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and
Trias Politica
Part 4 Policy considerations; conclusion

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Written exam

General Information

Course Code R_ClimCL
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator prof. dr. J.L. Smeehuijzen
Examiner prof. dr. J.L. Smeehuijzen
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

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