Courts, science and legitimacy in times of polycrisis

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference contribution (without a publication)Academic


Against the background of the various overlapping ecological, social and political crises, courts are increasingly confronted with expectations of finding adequate solutions to complex and unprecedented challenges, often against the background of democratic-political-regulatory failure. At the same time, litigation often invokes the authority of science to bolster legal arguments. Both specialized types of expert authority, law and science, are thus relied upon to ‘step in’, correct or compensate for the weaknesses of the political process. How does this changing socio-political and ecological context of contemporary litigation affect the role of the judge? In this panel we will engage with this question in a cross-disciplinary conversation. We want to critically discuss notions of legitimacy of judicial decision-making in the face of such concurrent socio-political and scientific complexity. A particular focus is on the relationship between courts and science in environmental litigation and how both interact with other types of knowledge in society as well as with political, economic, and civil actors. The panel spans perspectives from EU law, international and comparative law, legal theory, ethics, political economy and science and technology studies.
Period23 Jun 2023
Event titleLaw's Role in Sustainable Gobalization: Crises, Tragedy and Transformative Possibilities
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational