Jane Mcadam

in Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199587087
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738494 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. This book has argued that legal responses to climate change-related movement must be carefully informed by empirical evidence about its nature, timing, and underlying causes. If they are developed in the abstract, they risk being not only non-responsive, but possibly maladaptive, which may make already precarious situations worse. International law does not contain all the answers to resolving climate change-related displacement and facilitating pre-emptive movement. Human rights concepts are often used in climate change discussions in a broad, ethical sense, rather than in a technical, legal sense, such that ‘the assertion of universal human rights is not, at base, a legal assertion at all; it is first a moral or political assertion, and as such frequently carries greater weight and authority than its narrower legal cousin’. However, the boundaries which international law sets for State conduct, and the rights it recognizes for individuals and groups, provide important, normative parameters to guide and shape legal and policy development in a human rights-centric manner.

Keywords: climate change-related movement; legal response; international law; human rights

Chapter.  1813 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.