How do international and national laws address climate change? How can legal obligations enhance the preservation of the environment? What are the current States legal obligations when it comes to tackling climate change? The CliMates Judicial Review addresses all these issues by looking at past and current international and national case law. Each month, a detailed case analysis explains the reasoning of the courts and tribunals when it comes to the protection of the environment. This case law review provides a clear insight at the legal mechanisms at stake and aims to show the growing importance of climate change litigation around the world.
In this article, let’s have a look back on one of the most important French environmental legal sagas of the past few years: the Erika oil spill. Of special interest is the judgment of the French Cour de Cassation rendered on 25thSeptember 2012.
In 1999, the tanker Erika sank in the French Exclusive Economic Zone (“EEZ”), off the coast of French Brittany, dumping 30,000 barrels of heavy fuel oil into the sea and leading to one of France’s worst environmental disasters.
Case n°2: Colombia Supreme Court
On April, 5th 2018, the Supreme Court of Colombia rendered a landmark case in the field of climate litigation by attributing legal personality to the Amazon region and ordering the Colombian government to protect the region from rising deforestation rates.
Case n°1: Costa Rica v. Nicaragua
What’s the price of nature? A first attempt by the ICJ
On 2 February 2018, the International Court of Justice (the “Court”) rendered a landmark decision on compensation for environmental damage, in Certain Activities Carried Out By Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Compensation Owed by the Republic of Nicaragua to the Republic of Costa Rica (“Costa Rica v. Nicaragua”).