Attribution science & climate litigation: joining science & the law to protect human rights from climate change

01 July 2021

Portrait of Rupert Stuart-Smith

with Rupert Stuart-Smith
Doctoral Student

Rupert Stuart-Smith is a founding member of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme’s management team and a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford where his research focuses on climate change litigation and attribution science. His main research inte...

Portrait of Professor Thom Wetzer

with Professor Thom Wetzer
Founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme

Thom Wetzer is Associate Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oxford and the Founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme. At Oxford, Thom is also a Fellow of Linacre College, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for New...

Portrait of Professor Lavanya Rajamani

with Professor Lavanya Rajamani
Professor of International Environmental Law

Lavanya Rajamani is a Professor of International Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, and Yamani Fellow in Public International Law, St Peter's College, Oxford. She was formerly a Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New ...

Growing numbers of lawsuits have been filed around the world aiming to secure compensation for the impacts of climate change or to compel governments to strengthen climate targets. Many of these cases make causal claims about the effect of defendants’ greenhouse gas emissions on plaintiffs, for which the right scientific evidence may be crucial.

In this event, we will bring together pioneering lawyers to explore the different legal strategies being deployed to protect human rights from the impacts of climate change, and the role science can play in supporting them. We will also present new research findings from the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme on the role of attribution-science evidence in climate litigation.

Panel members:

  • Lavanya Rajamani, Professor of International Environmental Law, University of Oxford
  • Dennis van Berkel, Director, Climate Litigation Network & Legal Counsel, Urgenda Foundation
  • Fleur Ramsay, Special Counsel, International Programme & Chair of the First Nations and Indigenous Peoples Program Working Group, Environmental Defenders Office
  • Rupert Stuart-Smith, Associate Director, Oxford Sustainable Law Programme, University of Oxford

Following the panel discussion, we will introduce the work of the recently-launched Oxford Sustainable Law Programme (SLP). More details about the SLP are available on our website ( or by following us on Twitter: