The IV Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium (TIEC) jointly organized by the Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies (CEDAT-URV) and the Tarragona Environmental Law Students Association (AAEDAT) was held on 27-28 June 2019 at the Faculty of Legal Sciences (Department of Public Law) of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Tarragona, Spain.
The IV TIEC was an activity carried out under research project ‘Constitución Climática Global: Gobernanza y Derecho en un Contexto Complejo’ funded by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitivity (DER2016-80011-P).
The theme of the IV Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium (TIEC) was ‘New Trends in Environmental Litigation: Issues of Theory and Practice’.
Due to the complexity of environmental conflicts – cross-cutting issues with far-reaching impacts -, the institutional responses given by governance mechanisms of seem to be limited, inefficient and unable to solve them without putting aside relevant justice matters. In light of this situation, for some time now, litigation, that is to say the appeal to the judiciary, has become a relevant tool for different actors, who somehow have been excluded from the decision-making process, to obtain a justice-focused solution to these conflicts.
Litigation is constantly evolving to meet the new challenges brought about by environmental conflicts. On one hand, owing to the ingenuity and sagacity of litigants and judiciaries, innovative theories, tools and strategies are rising which at the same time are facing difficult challenges and questions. In this sense, new approaches to classical procedural institutions, as standing, proof, causation and justiciability, among others, are being developed and tested around the world. On the other hand, environmental litigation networks are being built by reframing litigation as something else than a procedural law issue: a real social movement under development.
Randall S. Abate (Monmouth University), Joana Setzer (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment) and Brian J. Preston (Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales) addressed the overall theme of the colloquium in their presentations as keynote speakers in the third edition of the TIEC.