Judith Rochfeld

Justice for the Climate Publication date : August 28, 2019

Judith Rochfeld is professor of private law at the Law School of the Sorbonne (University of Paris-1, Panthéon-Sorbonne). She co-edited the Dictionnaire des biens communs published by Presses Universitaires de France, and has published many articles on the new forms of appropriation of cultural and environmental property.
Noting the failure of international climate governance, and the inertia – even indifference! – of public authorities, a new citizen awareness is beginning to emerge. Across borders and transgenerational, it is expressed through absolutely heretofore unheard-of forms of mobilization: strikes by school children and high-schoolers around the iconic figure of Greta Thurnberg; the Urgenda Case in the Netherlands, ending in the victory of that foundation and of 894 citizens against the Dutch State which was ordered to lower greenhouse gas emissions; the decision of the Supreme Court of Colombia turning the Amazon into a person to stop deforestation, etc.

This book presents and analyzes these new forms of citizen mobilization that are soliciting and reinventing the law around the notion of “common good.” It shows how this crucial notion redistributes the roles and responsibilities of everyone – individuals, organizations, States – and challenges the arguments that up to now have enabled a retrenching behind the powerlessness of one’s neighbor. Finally, it examines how to reinforce these citizen actions and make them more effective while questioning the paths to escaping legal opposition.