Medhini Pathirana

Thesis Title: Litigating Vulnerability: Climate litigation as a means of development

Abstract: As a pioneering form of legal activism, there remains a shortfall of research into the interdisciplinary analysis of climate litigation. Cases of strategic human-rights based climate litigation, in particular, have been taken on at a rapidly increasing rate. In the Global South, these cases have made significant changes within legislation and policy, such as with the case of Asghar Leghari v the Federation of Pakistan and PSB et. al. v. the State of Brazil. This research aims to contribute towards this shortfall of interdisciplinary research by considering this legal activity as a socioeconomic project. This facilitates the discussion that climate litigation can be thought of as a global social movement and is a significant factor of development studies. Understanding it as such, this project aims to understand the conditions under which litigation cases succeed and to what extent the developmental priorities of vulnerable groups can be protected through them. In doing so, this provides some basis into the significance of climate litigation amongst legal and developmental practices.

First Supervisor: Dr. Emily Barritt

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Pathway: 9: PEEH

Cohort: 2023-24