Evidence in Human Rights Litigation related to Climate Change and Environmental Claims

01 November 2020 → 31 October 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Environmental law
    • Human rights law
    • International law
human rights environmental litigation evidentiary issues
Project description

Climate change is the single most challenging issue which humankind, not to mention the planet, face. It can be expected to generate increasing human rights litigation in the near future. When this happens, issues of evidence will have to be addressed. At the moment these are unclear, therefore potentially constituting an impermeable, confusing procedural hurdle for prospective claimants. My project ambitions to clarify the evidentiary regime(s) currently used by regional and international human rights adjudicative bodies in climate change but also – given these are at this moment in time far more common - environmental damages cases. Evidentiary issues in this relatively novel field are extremely complex. This is not only due to the difficulty of proving causality but also because the contested actions and damages involve multiple agents across national territories with effects that will develop in the long term. Victims and practitioners will benefit from a study that clarifies how these evidentiary challenges are currently navigated and how they could best be met. This study will combine a classical legal doctrinal analysis of the relevant evidentiary regimes with an in-depth socio-legal investigation of the way evidence has played out in carefully selected emblematic cases.