September 28, 2010


The National People’s Tribunal will develop Peoples jurisprudence on climate change. Despite the deficient legal framework on climate change laws, increasing number of action in courts in different countries prove that there are enough provisions in the Public and private international law and domestic legislations to attempt bring accountability on the national governments to protect people from the climate change impacts. The most popular case in point is Inuit’s case where indigenous people bordering USA and Canada brought an action in American Commission on Human Rights (Petition to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights seeking relief from violations resulting from global warming caused by acts and omissions of the United States, ICC Petition, 7 December 2005). The petition sought relief from violations of the human rights of Inuit resulting from global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the United States. Many similar actions on climate change might not succeed in the absence of proof of causation; however, they show a rising public and juridical opinion to seek legal redress to impacts of climate change. In the circumstances, it is only desirable that more such actions are brought to judicial, quasi judicial and peoples forum.

In this regard a National Peoples' Tribunal is being organized collectively by a number of organizations under the coordination of Pairvi, CECOEDECON, Oxfam India, SADED and Beyond Copenhagen. The National Peoples' Tribunal will develop peoples' jurisprudence on climate change by exploring legal spaces available to generate state accountability to mitigate and protect people from climate change impacts. Besides, it would also send a strong message to the developed countries to conclude a fair and just climate deal. While the Tribunal will assert the rights of developing countries to seek assistance from developed countries on account of their historical role in bringing about climate crisis, it will also look into the possibility of invoking existing legal provisions and statute for restitution of critical rights of people in the national framework and advocate for an improved legal and regulatory mechanism on climate change.


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