Human Rights and climate Change: What role for the European Convention on Human Rights?

Judge Tim Eicke, judge in respect of the United Kingdom at the European Court of Human Rights, has delivered the Goldsmiths Law inaugural annual human rights lecture, entitled “Human Rights and Climate Change: What Role for the European Convention on Human Rights?”, at an online event on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

A number of high-profile legal cases linked to climate change are either pending before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg or have recently been decided by national courts – often at least partly on the basis of the human rights convention.

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Judge Eicke discussed the opportunities and challenges involved in using the European Court of Human Rights as a forum for climate change litigation, taking into account the rights covered by the convention, the case-law of the Strasbourg court, the strict requirements of the ECHR system and the specific nature of decision-making concerning the climate.

Although the European Convention on Human Rights does not specifically include the right to a healthy environment, around 300 environment-related cases have already been decided by the European Court of Human Rights, leading to significant changes in policy and practice in many Council of Europe member states.

Goldsmiths Law is a department of Goldsmiths, University of London

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Council of Europe

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