Berlin Congress on climate change and constitutional law and constitutional courts

8 May 2023 - Dr Miroslav Šeparović, President and Dr Snježana Bagić, Deputy President, attended a congress hosted by the German Federal Constitutional Court in Berlin on 4 and 5 May 2023. The assembled participants, presidents and judges of European constitutional courts, addressed the issue of climate change as a challenge for constitutional law and constitutional courts. During the three working sessions they debated the following topics: recourse to constitutional courts in climate litigation cases; constitutional responsibility: causality, duties of protection, freedoms; the potential of constitutional courts in tackling climate change: their possibilities and limitations in the political process. In her key-note speech in the second working session, Dr Snježana Bagić, Deputy President, stressed the need for an urgent (global) response to climate change, and pointed to new challenges, doubts and open questions that the EU and constitutional courts are facing in their respective jurisdictions, as "climate cases" have not only a national, but also a European, and even a global dimension. The Croatian Constitutional Court has not yet dealt with the climate change cases, but it has decided in several cases related to environmental protection and has expressed its views on the application of Article 69 of the Constitution which establishes the right to a healthy life and environment, in conjunction with Article 3 of the Constitution. To mark the occasion, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, hosted a reception for all Congress participants.