The International Court of Justice and Climate Change

Toward an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal responsibility to ensure a stable climate for future generations


Tuesday August 24, 2021

  • Session 1: 8am Paris / 12noon Dhaka/ 2pm Manila / 5pm Honiara / 8pm Honolulu
  • Session 2: 8am Pacific Time USA / 11am Eastern Time USA / 4pm London / 5pm Paris

The Normandy Chair for Peace is cooperating with World’s Youth for Climate Justice (WYCJ) on an initiative to achieve an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of climate protection/stabilisation and the rights of future generations.

In a series of four global webinars over the second half of 2021, we explore the role of climate litigation including at the ICJ, what legal question/s should be asked of the court, what law is available to support the question/s, how to get the case submitted to the court and ensure that it does not get dismissed, what are the possible outcomes from the court case and what legal and political impacts the outcome could have on climate policy.

Each of the webinars is held in two sessions – one timed primarily for participants from Asia/Pacific and the other timed primarily for participants from the Americas/Europe/Africa/Middle East.


This event, which was held on June 28 and 30, included discussion on the importance of climate litigation, introduced the campaign for an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ and assessed lessons from other Advisory Opinions, in particular the historical 1996 ICJ opinion on nuclear weapons. You can watch the recorded sessions on facebook. Session 1Session 2.


This event, to be held on August 24, will consider the question to be asked of the ICJ. The question must be able to achieve majority support in the UN General Assembly in order to get the case to the Court. It needs to be a question that the ICJ could answer positively with an outcome that would have significant impact on current policies practices. The sources of law to draw upon include international agreements, customary international law, general principles of law, judicial decisions including in domestic courts, and academic writings. This webinar will discuss all of the above.

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