Accessibility navigation

Law, courts and populism: climate change litigation and the narrative turn

Hilson, C. (2019) Law, courts and populism: climate change litigation and the narrative turn. In: Sterett, S. M. and Walker, L. D. (eds.) Research Handbook on Law and Courts. Edward Elgar. ISBN 9781788113199

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.


Climate change litigation has become an increasingly common feature of the modern legal landscape. Populism has, likewise, become commonplace within the political landscape, and the interaction between populism and the courts is the subject of a growing literature. This chapter considers the connections linking the two fields, considering in particular whether climate change litigation can be said to be populist in nature. Based on a survey of relevant cases, I develop two categories – populist legalism and legal populism – the former relating to the nature of the parties involved in litigation and the latter to narrative style employed in legal submissions. I argue that there are both benefits and distinct risks in borrowing from the populist playbook. While the chapter is focused on climate change litigation, its framework and conclusions are likely to be more broadly applicable to other policy fields examined by law and courts scholars.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:82279
Publisher:Edward Elgar


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation