Climate Change and International Law at a Crossroad

Date of Event



Sept. 28-29, 2023

Glaciers and ice sheets are contracting at an alarming rate. Low lying coastal and island states face catastrophic flooding. The world’s great rivers and lakes are drying up, while climate migrants are pouring across borders. In this timely conference, two dozen of the foremost experts on international law and climate change will address: How should the international community enforce the newly recognized human right to a healthy environment? Is “ecocide” a viable international crime? Are environmental migrants entitled to refugee status? Can corporations be sued for climate change? And other salient law and policy issues at the heart of today’s climate crisis.

Jim Chen, former VP and Counsel of Tesla and Rivian Motors, will kick things off as the Thursday evening dinner speaker with remarks about the need to safeguard human rights in the production of electric car batteries. John Knox, former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, will deliver the morning keynote address on Friday. And the Honorable Chile Oboe-Osuji, former President of the International Criminal Court, will provide the Friday luncheon speech about the prosecution of environmental crimes.

In keeping with the conference theme, Thursday’s opening dinner will be held at the Crawford Auto Museum, where participants will be able to tour the 140 classic cars while enjoying the sounds of the law school’s faculty-student band and taking a ride on the restored Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel. Friday’s sessions will be held in Woodland Hall of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, located just across the street from the law school, where participants will be able to tour the Botanical Garden’s Costa Rican Rain Forest, Madagascar Spiny Desert and beautiful outdoor gardens during breaks.

Lecture Series

Frederick K. Cox International Law Center

2nd Lecture Series

Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law

Subject Headings

climate change; international law; climate change and international law


Cleveland, OH

Document Type