The ANU College of Law Research Seminar Series forms an important part of the College's Research Strategy.
The series aims to showcase the diverse legal research being undertaken by scholars at the ANU College of Law. It provides a weekly opportunity for academic staff, College visitors and HDR candidates to engage in conversations with high-impact researchers and enrich our research community.
Where possible, seminars in this series will be scheduled at lunchtime each Wednesday during teaching periods. Light lunch is provided.
The College welcomes members of the ANU Community, external stakeholders and the general public to attend any of the sessions listed below.
Japan's Climate Litigation - Challenges and Opportunities
Speaker: Hitoshi Ushijima
The seminar will address aspects of challenges and opportunities for climate litigation in Japan from a comparative perspective.
We have been witnesses to challenges and opportunities for climate litigation, including recent cases such as the Urgenda case (December 20, 2019) and Juliana case (January 17, 2020).
In Urgenda, the Dutch Supreme Court upheld the trial and appeals court decisions, finding the Dutch government had obligations to reduce carbon emissions.
In Juliana, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court held the youth and environmental NGOs, who have alleged violations of their constitutional rights, have no standing to sue (2-1 decision) and denied their claims for declaratory relief and an injunction ordering the government to implement a plan to “phase out fossil fuel emissions and draw down excess atmospheric (carbon dioxide)."
The Kiko Network, an NGO in Japan, says Japan currently has four climate cases requesting injunctions against coal-fired power plants and challenging their permits.
The seminar will pose some questions/issues of climate litigation in Japan. The talk will invite discussion on the potential for Japan's climate litigation and prospects for better relations between Japan and Australia, which provides 70% of coal used in Japanese power plants.
Hitoshi Ushijima is a Professor of Law at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan. His research foci include administrative law and regulatory policy, environmental and energy law, food law, comparative law, and multi-layered legal systems and governance.
He has been a Visiting Professor at Tulane Law School, a Guest Professor/Visiting Fellow at KU Leuven, an Invited Professor at the University of Paris 13, a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown Law School, and is the author of the Japan Chapter of “Administrative Law and Governance in Asia” (Routledge, 2009).
He has served as a member of the National Bar Examiners, Ministry of Justice, the Personnel Council, Ministry of Defense, and as an instructor, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. He has also served on many local-government advisory and review boards for administrative reform, environmental impact assessment, and freedom of information & data protection. He has been a member of the World Commission on Environmental Law, IUCN.
Professor Ushijima received his LL.B. from Chuo, and his LL.M.s from Hiroshima University and the University of Wisconsin on the Fulbright Program. He served on the Law Faculty of Fukuoka University, before joining Chuo in 2005.