Climate Change and the UN Security Council
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Climate Change and the UN Security Council

Edited by Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku

In this forward-looking book, the authors consider how the United Nations Security Council could assist in addressing the global security challenges brought about by climate change. Contributing authors contemplate how the UNSC could prepare for this role; progressing the debate from whether and why the council should act on climate insecurity, to how? Scholars, activists, and policy makers will find this book a fertile source of innovative thinking and an invaluable basis on which to develop policy.
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Chapter 4: The creation of a climate change court or tribunal

Shirley V. Scott, Patrick J. Keenan and Charlotte Ku


One of the innovative tools the United Nations Security Council has used since the Cold War is the establishment of ad hoc international criminal tribunals. This chapter considers whether there is scope for the Council to establish a climate crimes tribunal. Despite growing interest in the concept of climate crimes and the clear authority of the Council to establish such a tribunal, there are inherent difficulties in addressing climate change via international criminal law. The chapter next considers the potential utility of the Council establishing a court that would apply other fields of public international law to address issues such as where the large numbers of people projected to be displaced are to be resettled and/or compliance with climate agreements. The chapter concludes that this tool warrants further careful analysis for its potential to make a constructive contribution to alleviating climate insecurity.

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