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Inaugural Ceremony of International Conference on Climate Change Litigation

The Institute of Law, Nirma University organised the inaugural ceremony of 2-day International Conference on Climate Change Litigation: Emerging Issues and Concerns at the Institute of Law on June 1, 2024. The inaugural ceremony was graced by the distinguished presence of Hon’ble Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar – Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, Former Chairperson, National Green Tribunal as Chief Guest at the event. Shri K K Patel, Vice President- Nirma University, Dr Anup K Singh, Director General – Nirma University, Prof (Dr) Amarpal Singh, Vice Chancellor – Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University- Lucknow, Prof (Dr) Gitanjali Nain Gill Professor of Environmental Law, FAcSS Northumbria University, Newcastle, Hon’ble Dr Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker Chairperson, Gujarat State Human Rights Commission and Prof (Dr) Madhuri Parikh, Dean and Director (I/c) Institute of Law, Nirma University were the other esteemed dignitaries at the event.

Hon’ble Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar at the outset congratulated the Institute for organising this conference on a theme of immense importance. He began his address by quoting Robert Swan – “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” He stated that we all know that we are facing global warming nowadays. It is also evident that human activities are the major reason behind the current situation. He expressed concern on rapid industrialization, increase in green house emissions, deforestation, plastic waste burning, waste dumping etc as contribution of human being to climate change. He opined that if we do not make collective efforts, we will soon face an environmental catastrophe in near future.

Hon’ble Mr Justice Brian Preston FRSN SC Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW, Prof (Dr) Alexander Zahar China-ASEAN Legal Research Center, Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Chongqing, China, and Dr Ivano Alogna Research Leader in Environmental and Climate Change Law British Institute of International and Comparative Law addressed the gathering virtually.

Dr Madhuri A Parikh, Director and Dean (I/c) at the Institute introduced the conference. She informed that there are 2 round tables too as part of the conference. The roundtable meet on Day 1 aims at to deliberate upon the issues and concerns related to climate litigation. The judiciary has played remarkable role in securing climate justice in India. Majority of the cases have been decided under Article 32 combining the remedy available in Law of Torts. Major concerns in such kind of litigation are the establishing relationship of cause of action, evidence of damage and legal injury (since many of the victims are passive sufferer) difficulties in identifying the factors responsible for climate change and the sufferings of the people. The roundtable meet on Day 2 shall deliberate on the role of various stakeholders in combating climate change. The views are invited on the role of communities, role of NGOs, role of Pollution Control Board, role of citizens, role of educational institutions, regulating authorities and corporate and many others. Dr Parna Mukherjee – Adjunct Professor at the Institute delivered the vote of thanks. Ms Eva Gupta was the student event coordinator.