Vol. 40 No. 3 (2021): The University of Queensland Law Journal
Articles (Special Issue)

Climate Change and Law: A Global Challenge for Legal Education

Published 2021-11-10


Climate change is a global problem. This characterisation has major consequences for international law, domestic law and legal education. Drawing on legal developments, scholarship and pedagogy, this article has three main claims. First, it argues that lawyers dealing with climate change require proficiency across different areas of law, not just the law that seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, to better understand how these areas of law fit together, and how they should fit together, the article points to relevant theories, including ideas relating to fragmentation and regime interaction within international law. Thirdly, the article examines ways in which legal education can encourage ethical and moral evaluations as well as strategic awareness, especially to ensure that legal action to address climate change does not perpetuate inequalities and injustice within the community of states. Legal education and law have important roles in mitigating climate change and in fostering a sensibility that recognises the unequal burdens between and within countries. In training the arbiters of global destiny, today’s law schools must continue to critique the law’s relationship with modern production and consumption patterns.