Making climate science matter in the courtroom

Document Type


Publication details

Rogers, N 2017, 'Making climate science matter in the courtroom', Environmental and Planning Law, vol. 34, pp. 475-487.

Peer Reviewed



The author draws upon case studies from Australian coalmine litigation in order to highlight some of the ongoing structural and procedural difficulties in addressing climate change within the restrictive parameters of Australian environmental law.There is a fundamental incongruence between the practical outcomes of such litigation and scientific findings and predictions in relation to the catastrophic consequences of the global failure to address climate change. By way of contrast, alternative forms of climate change litigation which have arisen in other jurisdictions, including tort-based litigation, atmospheric public trust litigation, civil and constitutional rights litigation and the strategic deployment of the criminal defence of necessity, offer interesting possibilities and more compelling narrative frameworks for making climate science matter in the courtroom.

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