Getting to grips with climate change in constitutional adjudication: A study of the Neubauer case

This paper addresses the developments in constitutional reasoning and adjudication that can be identified in cases involving climate change. The complexity and polycentricity of climate change daunt judges and forces them to develop novel interpretations of constitutional doctrines. To address this issue, the paper draws on the recent Neubauer case to explore the distinctive legal questions posed by climate change in constitutional adjudication. This research builds on a doctrinal analysis of the judgment to explore the potential developments in constitutional adjudication that may take place in other jurisdictions in similar cases of climate litigation, as well as the difficulties judges face to accommodate the disruptive features of climate change in their legal reasoning. The proposal is an invitation to constitutional scholars to evolve our legal thinking in light of climate change, as a way to sharpen our understanding of constitutional law and its role in modern societies.