28 Dec 2023    Journal Articles
Fornalé, Elisa

Vulnerability, Intertemporality, and Climate Litigation

Vulnerability, Intertemporality, and Climate Litigation

Article by Prof Elisa Fornalé in Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 41:4, 357-377


The entire world is experiencing a combination of old threats and new climate-related disasters; they are perceptible in our everyday lives at an unprecedented level. The current pandemic, together with geopolitical instability, has dramatically demonstrated how exposure to multiple risks can disproportionately affect people in vulnerable situations. This article aims to explore how the international human rights framework takes into account the notion of vulnerability, with a view to moving international protection to the centre of dealing with climate change. It takes a closer look at the promises and limitations of embracing vulnerability through a study of the interpretative practice of UN treaty bodies and the evolution of domestic litigation regarding climate change. It selectively reviews how normative pathways that involve multiple interpreters could create new opportunities for defining the route along which to channel climate justice and its temporalities.

About the author

Prof Elisa Fornalé, Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professor at the World Trade Institute (WTI), University of Bern

About the journal

The Nordic Journal of Human Rights is a leading academic journal for human rights research. The Journal takes a broad, multi-disciplinary and pluralistic approach to human rights as a legal, political and social practice. We publish high quality scholarship analysing the past, present or future of human rights from a variety of theoretical and methodological viewpoints. We welcome original, innovative and reflective contributions that advance knowledge about human rights from the perspectives of law, political science, history, anthropology, philosophy, sociology and any other academic discipline with an interest in human rights. Geographically, the Journal takes a global perspective, welcoming submissions on human rights in the Nordic region and beyond. We also publish notes on current legal developments, as well as book reviews and book essays 

Founded in 1982 as Mennesker & Rettigheter, The Nordic Journal of Human Rights is one of the oldest academic journals in the field of human rights. It is edited by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo, in collaboration with Nordic human rights research centres. Our Editorial Board consists of leading scholars from all over the world representing multiple disciplines.

Vulnerability, Intertemporality, and Climate Litigation