GVC Symposium

Climate change litigation:
trends, policy implications and the way forward

  • Workshop on 14 – 15 June 2018, Aarhus University, Denmark


Workshop: Climate Change Litigation: Trends, Policy Implications and the Way Forward, 14 – 15 June 2018, Aarhus University, Denmark

The concept of climate change has shifted from being a controversial issue to progressively becoming a widely recognized global threat. The conclusion of the Paris Agreement and the inclusion of climate action as one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals have forged an accord by the international community on the causes and risks of climate change. At the national level, a surge of laws codifying national and international responses to climate change has given rise to a growing number of lawsuits around the world pertinent to climate change-related matters. As climate litigation continues to expand, the need to understand the role of courts in broader climate change governance grows. The workshop aims to convene participants representing different stakeholders from around the world to reflect on the current status quo of climate litigation, its implications and future prospects. Joana Setzer, Research Officer at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the London School of Economics and Political Science and Dennis van Berkel, Legal Counsel at the Dutch Urgenda Foundation will deliver a keynote address at the workshop.

Submission of proposals

Abstracts of max. 500 words with a short bio should be submitted via e-mail to Theodora Valkanou (theodora.valkanou@law.au.dk) by 5 May 2018. Abstracts will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Authors will be informed about the final decision on their proposals by 10 May 2018.


There is no registration fee for the workshop, and meals, coffee and refreshments will be covered for all participants. Presenters will be invited to join the workshop dinner on 14 June 2018. The workshop is funded by INTRAlaw.

Call for papers

The International and Transnational Tendencies in Law Center (INTRAlaw), Aarhus University is pleased to announce a call for papers for a workshop on Climate Change Litigation: Trends, Policy Implications and the Way Forward to take place at Aarhus University, Department of Law on 14 – 15 June 2018.

Paper proposals are welcome from scholars, practitioners, researchers as well as government, business and civil society representatives with a particular interest in this area. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Analysis of precedent-setting climate change case law
  • Justiciability of climate change claims
  • Proof of causation in climate litigation
  • Sources of climate rights and obligations in climate litigation
  • New approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation following climate litigation
  • Human rights approaches in climate litigation
  • Application of international law by domestic courts in climate litigation
  • The impact of climate litigation upon law- and policy-making
  • Corporate responses to climate litigation
  • Legal remedies and enforcement 

Contact persons

Katerina Mitkidis, katpe@law.au.dk, Aarhus University, Denmark Theodora Valkanou, theodora.valkanou@law.au.dk, Aarhus University, Denmark


There is no registration fee for the workshop, and meals, coffee and refreshments will be covered for all participants. Presenters will be invited to join the workshop dinner on 14 June 2018. The workshop is funded by INTRAlaw.



Getting to Denmark


  • Aarhus Airport, Tirstrup (AAR) The airport situated closest to Aarhus, but it's small and has only few connections. Transportation time to the city of Aarhus is approximately 45 minutes by bus 925x, which departs 20 minutes after each arrival.
  • Billund Airport (BLL) A slightly bigger airport, with more connections. The transportation time by bus 912x is approximately one hour and a half to the city of Aarhus. The bus departs almost every hour.
  • Copenhagen Airports (CPH) A large airport with lots of connections. You can continue to Aarhus by domestic flights or by train. Flight time to Aarhus Airport is 40 minutes, but train is often easier. The direct train from Copenhagen Airport to central Aarhus is about three and a half hours.  

There are frequent trains from Copenhagen to Aarhus and also many from Hamburg (and thus the European train network). Please use the Journey Planner to schedule your trip. Danish rail services are called DSB

Private bus

Private busses are another convenient option to travel from Copenhagen Airport to Aarhus. Please check here for more information.

Set the GPS to Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark. Please note if you drive from Copenhagen you need to pay toll (DKK 240) when crossing the bridge between Zealand and Funen.


Individual taxi services are available - approx. DKK 600 from Aarhus Airport to Aarhus and DKK 1500 from Billund Airport to Aarhus.

Getting to the Department

You can get to the Law Department on foot, by local bus or Letbane followed by a short walk, or taxi. In busses/Letbane you need to pay in cash (DKK only); a ticket costs DKK 20 and is valid for 2 hours. Taxis accept cash and most credit cards.

You can also download the AU Find app (Iphone or IPAD), which can help you find your way around the AU campus. 

Aarhus City Guide

About Aarhus

With approximately 300.000 inhabitants, Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark. It was founded by the Vikings in the 8th century, and is located in a natural bay along a small river and surrounded by forests. Aarhus is often referred to as "the youngest and brightest city in Denmark” because of its large student population – almost 1/5 of the residents are students. The young population and the fact that the city is the unofficial “capital of west Denmark” means that Aarhus has a large concentration of attractions, shopping and city life. 

In 2017, Aarhus was the cultural capital of Europe. Below is a list of some of the top attractions we recommend if you have time to explore the city during your visit.

What to see and do in Aarhus:




  • DOKK1 - The city's new impressive library which is located at the waterfront in the city center. Here you will find much more than just books.


  • Harbors, forests and beaches - If the weather behaves (which we hope it will), Aarhus also has a lot of outdoor attractions/activities. They obviously include strolling the harbors, forests and beaches on both the north and south side of the city. On the south side of the city close to the Queens summer residence Marselisborg you will find Marselisborg Harbour with nice restaurants and the Marselisborg forest extending along the ocean and beaches. 


  • Cafés along the river or in the Latin Quarter - Most of these cafés turn into regular bars towards midnight and there are several clubs downtown.

The website VisitAarhus provides lots of information about Aarhus.  

Keynote speakers


Joana Setzer ǀ Research Officer at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, the London School of Economics and Political Science

Joana Setzer is a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow, based at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In this current research project, Joana is investigating developments in climate legislation and litigation. Joana’s background is in law, and she holds a PhD in environment and development, a Masters in environmental policy (both from the LSE), and a Masters in environmental science (from the University of Sao Paulo). Outside academia, Joana has worked for eight years as an environmental lawyer in Brazil and as the external affairs coordinator of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD).



Dennis van Berkel ǀ Legal Counsel at the Dutch Urgenda Foundation


Dennis van Berkel is legal counsel for the Urgenda Foundation and co-director of the Climate Litigation Network.

At Urgenda Foundation, Dennis works on the ground-breaking climate case in which the district court of The Hague found that the Dutch state was violating its duty of care by not taking sufficient measures against climate change and ordered the government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Since the initial verdict in 2015, Dennis has been advising lawyers and campaigners from around the world on the possibilities of using legal measures to force government action against climate change. In 2016, he co-founded the Climate Litigation Network, which aims to catalyse and support strategic litigation that compels governments to take the action urgently required to mitigate climate change.

Prior to joining the Urgenda Foundation, Dennis worked at Stibbe, specialising in competition law, and at the Dutch Competition Agency. Dennis completed his law degree at Leiden University and did a master in European Law at the London School of Economics in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Driven by his concern about climate change, Dennis decided to change career path in 2012, starting with an interdisciplinary master in the law, economics and science of climate change at New York University Law School.


The workshop will take place at:

Conference Room (Mødelokale) 1
Fredrik Nielsens Vej 4
Building (Bygning) 1421
8000 Aarhus C

For directions, please see Aarhus University Building Map.

Speakers dinner

We are pleased to invite all speakers and organisers for dinner on Thursday 14 June at 7 pm at Restaurant Mellemrum

The address is: Fredens Torv 2, 8000 Aarhus C.

Time and place

14 June, 10.30-17.00
15 June, 9.00-16.00

Department of Law
Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
Building 1410, room 247
8000 Aarhus C