Michael Mehling, Harro van Asselt, Kati Kulovesi, Elisa Morgera, “Teaching Climate Law: Trends, Methods and Outlook”

Journal of Environmental Law (forthcoming)
Abstract: "Climate change presents unique challenges for legal education. As a subject matter, it is technically complex and normatively contested, evolves at a dynamic pace and crosses established boundaries between academic disciplines, branches of law, and levels of jurisdiction. Still, it has, by now, firmly entered the legal curriculum through general and specialised courses, and is also increasingly featured in courses on neighbouring areas of law. This article offers an initial, exploratory survey of the current state of climate law education, including courses, degree programmes, and teaching material, as well as teaching methods and the role of interdisciplinary approaches. Based on this survey, it identifies broader trends in the still nascent field, including a tendency towards consolidation and specialisation. Climate law will evolve over time, as will approaches to its instruction. For future climate lawyers, practical skills and sound judgment will therefore weigh more heavily than exhaustive command of doctrinal detail. Interactive teaching formats and experiential learning are therefore recommended as integral elements of climate law education, as is cautious exploration of an interdisciplinary approach to the topic."