The Potential Role of the International Court of Justice in Climate Change-Related Claims

PluriCourts coordinator Christina Voigt has contributed to the Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law with a chapter on the role of the International Court of Justice in climate change-related claims.


Climate change raises complex legal questions of states’ rights and duties, both in the context of addressing climate change through mitigation action and when dealing with the effects of climate change through effective adaptation measures as well as climate change damages. In all these contexts, international law matters. While a multilateral solution to these questions has been negotiated in the context of the 2015 Paris Agreement, there is the possibility that states may want to resort to adjudicative means as a way to respond to challenges of collective or national concern. It might be only a question of time before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be called upon in the context of one of the many legal issues related to climate change.

This chapter attempts to map and analyse substantive legal issues that potentially could be subject to disputes brought before the ICJ or legal questions addressed by an advisory opinion issued by the Court.


Access the Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, Vol. 1, edited by Marjan Peeters and Dan Farber.


Tags: Environment
Published Nov. 8, 2016 9:51 AM - Last modified Jan. 24, 2017 3:35 PM