A legal paradigm shift towards climate justice in the Anthropocene


  • Sam Adelman Warwick University




Anthropocene, global heating, climate emergency, climate justice, climatic harms, paradigm shift, new materialism


Business as usual is widely acknowledged as the main driver of ecological collapse and climate breakdown, but less attention is paid to the role of law as usual as an impediment to climate justice. This article analyses how domestic and international environmental law facilitate injustices against living entities and nature. It calls for a paradigm shift in legal theory, practice and teaching to reflect the scale and urgency of the unfolding ecological catastrophe. Section 2 outlines the links between climatic harms and climate injustices. This is followed by discussions of unsustainable law and economic development in sections 3 and 4. Section 5 examines the potential contribution of new materialist legal theory in bringing about a legal paradigm shift that reflects the jurisgenerative role of nature in promoting climate justice.


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Author Biography

Sam Adelman, Warwick University

Reader. School of Law.


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How to Cite

Adelman, S. (2024) “A legal paradigm shift towards climate justice in the Anthropocene”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(1), pp. 44–68. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1177.