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Youth Climate Court (PIELC Panel)

Wednesday, March 3 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm


This panel describes a new way for young people in their teens and early- to mid-twenties to gather a few friends together, declare themselves a Youth Climate Court (with a youth judge, prosecutor and jury members) and put their local city or county government on trial for not adequately protecting the rights of its citizens vis-a-vis the climate crisis. A government’s failure to do its part in addressing the climate crisis puts at risk the most basic rights of all its citizens, especially its children.
This panel will describe the purpose and manner of a Youth Climate Court trial, how it can be organized, what the key roles are, why the process is grounded in human rights, what mandates are issued to a government if it is found guilty, and what the benefits are to both the Youth Court organizers and to the city or county that is put on trial. It will describe what human rights standards are, which specific rights – such as the rights to health, to security of person, and to a sustainable climate – are most put at risk by the climate crisis and in which human rights instruments they appear. It will describe the unique power of human rights standards and why they serve as the grounding on which these youth trials are based, and will reference recent UN reports that urge and support the human rights approach to the climate crisis.


School of Law

Target Audience

All Students


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