Session details

IBA Annual Litigation Forum 2022

27 Apr - 29 Apr 2022

Session information

Panel 2: The role of the courts in climate change litigation


In countries with a strong rule of law and independent judiciaries, when there is failure by institutions (government, corporations) to act according to expected society norms, it is the judicial branch that citizens turn to instead. The failure to act on climate change is one of these instances. Climate litigation has become more common. Last year there was considerable growth in climate cases that, for example, refer to human rights, companies act and constitutional violations in their arguments and claimants have become increasingly diverse in their backgrounds, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), political parties as well as shareholders and individuals. It is thus imperative that judges are ‘climate literate’ as, in the context of existing legal systems, they will play a significant role in helping to combat climate change including and, importantly, continuing the evolution of common law in a manner that adapts to society’s changing circumstances and expectations.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Jane Colston Elliott Brown Rudnick LLP, London, England; Secretary, Litigation Committee


Robert Allen Simmons & Simmons LLP, London, England
Robert Johnston Johnson Winter & Slattery, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; Chair, Class Actions Committee
Hon Justice Robin Knowles CBE High Court of England and Wales, London, England
Saverio Lembo Baer & Karrer, Geneva, Switzerland; Individual Defence Counsel Officer, Criminal Law Committee
Catherine Odigie ED&F Man Capital Markets , London, England