CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, February 26, 2024

Megret & Khoday on Climate Change and Civil Disobedience

Frederic Megret and Amar Khoday (McGill University - Faculty of Law and University of Manitoba - Faculty of Law) have posted 'We Want to Live!' Climate Change and the Limits of Civil Disobedience ((2022) 35:1 Georgetown Environmental Law Review 155 (GELR)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article examines the practice, nature and prospects of civil disobedience as a mode of resistance to climate change. Dominant understandings of civil disobedience are still highly indebted to earlier models that emphasized its primarily domestic locus, its broad adherence to the law and its targeted nature. But the sheer scale and amorphousness of the climate change challenge, its complex private-public nature and its systemic character profoundly challenge techniques honed during the civil rights or decolonization movements. We argue that there is a need to understand “climate disobedience” as based on a sui generis legal strategy, one that is more global, transnational, pluralistic, and decentralized than earlier instantiations of disobedience. Climate disobedience problematizes not just particular laws or policies, but the very notion of adherence to concepts of law that are entangled with planetary destruction. Based on a study of the legacy of past civil disobedience episodes and actual practices of climate disobedience, the article highlights some of the vulnerabilities evident in current efforts and points to some ways to avoid the resulting traps.

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