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Advisory Opinions on Climate Change: Some Preliminary Questions
Dan Bodansky
32 Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law 185 (2023)
Open Access  |  Library Access


The recent requests for advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are understandable, given the slow pace of the climate change negotiations. But are they a good idea? Will an advisory opinion by an international tribunal be likely to strengthen the international response to climate change and, if so, in what ways? Will it complement or compete with the United Nations climate change negotiations? What are the risks, both to the negotiations and to the court's own legitimacy, and do the potential benefits of an advisory opinion justify these risks? To what extent should international climate change law be developed through negotiations or adjudication, by States or by courts? Before jumping on the advisory opinion bandwagon, this article poses some questions to consider.
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