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Towards a transnational law of climate change: transnational litigation at the boundaries of science and law

Ganguly, Geetanjali (2019) Towards a transnational law of climate change: transnational litigation at the boundaries of science and law. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004224


My PhD project engages in a micro-level examination of the institutional character and knowledge work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), maps the judicialisation of climate change in terms of the evaluation and certification of climate science by domestic courts, and considers the role of climate litigants (e.g. environmental NGOs and future generations) in terms of the cross-fertilisation of science-driven argumentation and advocacy strategies across numerous jurisdictions. More specifically, by undertaking a detailed examination and analysis of salient climate change lawsuits which embody substantive discussions about climate science, my PhD thesis argues that through the production, certification and use of climate science in litigation, the IPCC, domestic courts and litigants are co-producing a new and emergent body of transnational law and jurisprudence on climate change. Since this is largely judge-made law, I posit that it can be thought of as a kind of co-produced ‘transnational climate change case law.’ I apply a Science and Technology Studies (STS) lens to frame my analysis of climate science as a form of applied science and trans-science and argue that the work of the IPCC, courts and litigants in relation to climate change can be regarded as a complex network of interactive relationships and hybridised knowledge practices, including: i) science-policy co-production; ii) science-policy-law co-production; and iii) science-law co-production, respectively. This new body of transnational climate change case law is the byproduct of epistemic interactions between these three principal actors, which are circumventing traditional executive and legislative processes. This dynamic signifies a shift away from a purely statist conception of climate change regulation which is largely consistent with the transnationalisation of environmental regulation and law writ large in recent years.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Geetanjali Ganguly
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate litigation, STS, climate science, IPCC, courts, ENGOs, co-production, transnational climate change case law
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Supervisor: Heyvaert, Veerle and Humphreys, Stephen

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