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Call For Papers - Deadline: 25 February 2024

Updated: Jan 25

Workshop on transnational climate and ecological litigation: Exploring the transformative role of actors in shaping legal mechanisms

The European Research Council (ERC) Curiae Virides Research Project - Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and the Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios sobre Desarrollo (CIDER) - Universidad de los Andes (Colombia),

in cooperation with

the Programa Andino de Derechos Humanos of the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar (Ecuador), the Raoul Wallenberg Institute on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) (Sweden), the Center for Sustainability Studies (Lund University, Sweden) and the Global Network of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) are pleased to announce the call for papers for their 2024 workshop.

Place: Bogotá 3-5 April 2024, (Universidad de los Andes, Auditorio Lleras)

Online participation is possible.

Language: English, Spanish, Portuguese.


Background and objectives: Legal action is increasingly being pursued globally in response to perceived environmental injustices, adverse environmental impacts, and ecological conflicts. The pursued objectives are diverse; they seek remedies, to hold states and/or companies accountable for alleged violations of environmental regulations, or they request action from states or companies regarding urgent environmental concerns. Moreover, the growth of litigation related to global warming and ecosystem degradation framed in human rights terms calls for the need to investigate the underlying factors driving this phenomenon. It is also important to assess the effectiveness of litigation in achieving its objectives, particularly concerning environmental justice and access to remedies for people, ecosystems, and territories affected or threatened by environmental degradation, resource depletion, or a lack of environmental democracy.


The workshop will center on the transformation of transnational ecological conflicts into litigation. These conflicts can result from cross-border environmental impacts such as biodiversity loss, water pollution, and global warming, or local conflicts resulting from activities involving transnational actors (e.g., multinational corporations, NGOs operating transnationally, investment or development banks, etc.). A central theme is the identification of actors involved in shaping and transforming ecological conflicts into litigation. The workshop seeks to shed light on their interests and motivations, the consequences of litigation for people, territories, and ecosystems, and the framing or strategies used to choose and trigger courts. 


The workshop aims to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration among experts and civil society regarding the challenges and opportunities of using judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms to transform transnational social-ecological disputes and promote ecological, territorial, and human rights protection.


Call for papers: We invite proposals from different disciplines such as environmental and human rights law, sociology, anthropology, development studies, sustainability science, political ecology or political science working on environmental, climate and/or ecocentric litigation or transnational ecological conflicts.


The proposals can be related but not limited to:

  • Challenges and opportunities of judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms to address transnational ecological conflicts, the results for actors involved, and their effectiveness from the perspective of those affected.

  • Scope, challenges, and opportunities of strategic litigation, its impacts on the actors involved, and the effectiveness in achieving its objectives.

  • Actors involved in social-ecological conflicts and litigation (particularly civil society actors such as NGOs, socio-environmental movements, rightsholders, or affected persons) their interests, motivations, and forms of mobilizations.

  • The right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment; environmental democracy; access to information, public participation, access to justice, and rights of biosphere defenders.

  • The potential of litigation and the role of biosphere defenders in triggering sustainability transformations (advancing substantive outcomes such as safe climate, healthy ecosystems, and biodiversity) called for by the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, IPCC, IPBES, among others.

  • The role of government agencies, regional and international organizations, and business actors to promote and ensure fair and inclusive access to justice at the national, transnational, and international levels.

  • Claiming rights of nature: ecocentric and biocultural approaches to protect ancestral territories and ecosystems.

Other topics are also welcome. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches, critical perspectives, and participation of civil society organizations.

The proposals (title and an abstract of up to 250 words) indicating the name, institutional affiliation, and contact details of the author(s) should be sent to  The deadline for expressions of interest is 25 February 2024. Complete unpublished papers are also welcome. We will publish the program with the accepted presentations in the last week of February.


More information? Contact:


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