Mobilizing Rights for Climate Justice: Reviewing the Inuit, Urgenda, and Enjeu Cases

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
CIGI Campus: Room A120, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo, Canada
Public Event: Seminar
Mar 27

In this presentation, Sébastien Jodoin will address three important cases that have invoked human rights in the context of climate change. The initial discussion will focus on the long-term impact of a petition submitted in 2005 by Inuit communities against the United States before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights for the human rights violations caused by climate change. Professor Jodoin will present findings from an in-depth socio-legal analysis of the petition’s influence that draws on semi-structured interviews and participation/observation completed in two Inuit communities in Canada and within the broader transnational advocacy network at the intersections of human rights and climate justice.

Next, Professor Jodoin will discuss a case launched by the Urgenda Foundation against the Dutch government, which has resulted in a decision by the Hague Court of Appeal obliging the Netherlands to increase its ambition in combating climate change on the basis of its human rights obligations. Professor Jodoin will highlight key legal and strategic factors that have shaped Urgenda’s success thus far.

Finally, there will be discussion centering on the first class action climate lawsuit, which was filed against the government of Canada by Environnement Jeunesse in November 2018. Professor Jodoin will address the particular features of the Québec Charter of Rights and Freedoms that make Québec a favourable jurisdiction for rights-based climate litigation. This analysis will highlight the potential and limitations of drawing on human rights law to empower citizens and communities defending their rights from the consequences of a changing climate.

The presentation will start promptly at noon, and will be preceded by a light lunch starting at 11:30am.

Please note that on-site parking is not availble at the CIGI Campus for daytime events. Options for parking in Uptown Waterloo can be found at the following website:


Event Speakers

Sébastien Jodoin is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University and an Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment and the Max Bell School of Public Policy. A 2011 Trudeau Scholar, he has served as a principal investigator for several large-scale research projects funded by SSHRC, FQRSC, and the Ford Foundation.