The Obligation of Law Schools to Teach Climate Change Law

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Climate change will impact most, if not all, aspects of law and regulation. Law is a key mechanism of social governance, and it has a key role to play in regulating and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. In the midst of the unfolding climate crisis law schools have a clear and pressing obligation to contribute to efforts to address climate change and its consequences by ensuring climate change law occupies an appropriate place in the law curriculum. In this article we consider the obligation of universities, and law schools in particular, to respond appropriately to the climate crisis in their program offerings. We begin by reflecting on the obligation of law schools and universities to contribute to the public good, an obligation often downplayed given the contemporary emphasis upon the ‘job-readiness’ of graduates and other neoliberal priorities. We then focus on the obligation of universities and law schools to respond appropriately to climate change. We examine the landscape of climate change law and identify the essential elements of climate change law for inclusion in the law curriculum. And we conclude by identifying examples of ways in which law schools are already incorporating climate change law into their law programs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUniversity of Queensland Law Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2021


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