Law and Climate

Can law save the world? Or is the current legal system rather incapable of responding to the current problems? Is the climate crisis also a crisis of law, or is it an opportunity to rethink outdated concepts? Are states or corporations to blame for climate change? And what role can I, the individual, play?

In seeking answers to these questions, we will explore the connections between the global and the local, theory and practice, and law and activism. The course will present in individual blocks what problems climate change poses for society and for law, and what opportunities for addressing it the law offers. The content of the individual blocks will include, for example:

1. Climate change for d̶u̶m̶m̶i̶e̶s̶ lawyers. The nature of the climate crisis and why is it a challenge for law?
2. Paris Agreement, Green Deal, COPs et al. – do international solutions work for an international problem?
3. An activist legal toolkit: How to write a petition, make a request for information or call a demonstration and why are our rights under attack
4. Responsibility for climate change as a moral and legal issue – questions of inter-generational, inter-national and corporate justice
5. The limits of law and its alternatives: Should we grant rights to animals and nature? Should emissions be a criminal offense? Is a coal mine blockade legal and legitimate?
6. Advocacy work: How to convince politicians to adopt a climate law?
7. Human rights and climate lawsuits in Europe and beyond – why did Portugues children fail and Swiss grandpas win?
8. A moot court inspired by famous climate disputes

The aim of the course is to present law as a living and dynamic tool to change the world for the better. The theme of the course is interdisciplinary with overlap to other social sciences as well as natural sciences. The course assumes no specific prior knowledge, only an interest in societal problems and their solutions.

David Chytil

David studied law at Charles University in Prague and now works for Amnesty International. During his studies he gained experience in a law firm and internships in courts and in the nonprofit sector. He spent two semesters abroad at Heidelberg University in Germany. Starting to study law at the beginning of Fridays for Future movement in 2018, he then fully realized the seriousness of the climate crisis for the first time. Since then, he is active in the Czech climate movement as an activist and also in academia. He is a member of the board of the Climate Litigation, an association of Czech citizens who are suing the Czech state for their lack of activity to address climate change. He is also an intern at the Center for Climate Law and Sustainability at the Academy of Sciences, where he co-organized a student organization on climate justice. He co-founded a student society at the law school focused on creating a safe and solidarity-based environment at the law school. He enjoys thinking through possible solutions to the climate crisis, while trying not to be limited by legal formalism. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, reading, cooking and exploring the world – preferably by train or on foot.

Turnus E

AI and Particle Physics

Oliver Matonoha

Contemporary City Planning

Soňa Ondrejčáková

Economics for the 21st century

Kristina Zindulková

Imagining For a Better Future

Žofie Hobzíková

Law and Climate

David Chytil

Medical Science in the 21. century

Václav Melenovský

Music: From Science to Creative Process

Laura Prachárová

Nationalism Good, Bad and Ugly

Hubert Otevřel


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The Arab Middle East

Adéla Provazníková