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Fuzzy Universality in Climate Change Litigation

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Climate change litigation is developing rapidly and pervasively, emerging as a space for legal innovation. Until now, this process has mainly occurred in national courts. The result is a decentralization of the interpretation of human rights relating to climate change. This article argues that such decentralization could, in principle, have a destabilising impact on claims to the universality of human rights. However, close examination of this litigation shows that a prototype is emerging, certain features of which are becoming ‘hard-wired’ through the process of judicial dialogue. By exploring the content of this prototype, its de-centralized development, and its self-reinforcing nature, we see a legal space emerging in which environmental human rights sit between the universal and the contextual.



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Transnational Environmental Law

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Cambridge University Press

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