Suing for the climate – Dutch style. Is there a maverick judge in the courtroom?

gavc law - geert van calster

As has been more or less widely reported, the Dutch NGO Urgenta is planning to serve proceedings upon the Dutch State some time in November, seeking a court order obliging the State to present within 6 months, a realistic plan to reduce drastically The Netherlands’ CO2 emissions, and actively to inform the public of the causes and consequences of climate change. The draft proceedings (in Dutch only) review summarily (well, still leading to a 114 page document) the State’s obligations under public international law, and EU law, and the proposed consequential liabilities.

Trail Smelter, Minnes de Potasse, the Stern Report….: they all are mentioned. Of specific interest is the emphasis put on human rights, and the emphatic defence of the argument that The Netherlands also has a duty of care vis-a-vis damage occurring elsewhere (in particular: the developing world).

A maverick action? No doubt, and no doubt so intended…

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About Geert van Calster

Geert is an independent legal practitioner and academic. An alumnus of the College of Europe, Bruges (promotion Stefan Zweig), Prof van Calster is the Head of Leuven Law's department of European and international law. Geert is a visiting professor at Monash University (Melbourne) and at the China-EU School of Law in Beijing, and a visiting lecturer at King's College, London. He was previously i.a. a visiting lecturer at Oxford University. He was called to the Bar in 1999 after having worked as of counsel to a City law firm since 1995, and practices in the areas of Private international law /Conflict of Laws; WTO law; (EU) environmental law; and EU economic law.

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