[F&ES 823a/LAW 20620] / 2013-2014

Climate Change and the International Court of Justice

Credits: 2
Fall 2013: Time and location TBA


The President of the island nation of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, has called on the United Nations General Assembly to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) addressing state responsibility for the harmful consequences of anthropogenic climate change. President Toribiong has said that voluntary actions by individual states are not enough to “stem the rising tides or the flood of global emissions” and that an advisory opinion from the ICJ is an appropriate recourse that “will give us the guidance we need on what all states must do.” In the process, Palau also hopes “to raise the consciousness of the world community to the issue of responsibility.” This course, co-taught with Ambassador Stuart Beck and Counselor Aaron Korman of the Permanent Mission of Palau to the United Nations, considers the legal and policy issues raised by Palau’s ICJ campaign. During the first part of the course, background readings and guest speakers are utilized to familiarize students with legal principles, institutions, and procedures relevant to the ICJ campaign. During the second part of the course, students break into working groups to undertake research and analysis concerning different aspects of the campaign. Paper required. Prerequisite: permission of the instructors