Climate Change Litigation's Regulatory Pathways: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and Australia


  • Jacqueline Peel,

  • Hari M. Osofsky

  • This article is based on a paper delivered at a Workshop on Climate Change Litigation, Policy and Mobilization held at the British Academy, London, April 26-27, 2012. The authors would like to thank the workshop participants and organizers, and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and feedback which have informed the subsequent development of this article.

Address correspondence to Professor Jacqueline Peel, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St., Parkville VIC 3010, Australia. Telephone: (61) 3 8344 1115; E-mail:


This article provides a critical next step in scholarship on climate change litigation's regulatory role. It creates a model for understanding the direct and indirect regulatory roles of this litigation. It then applies this model to the United States and Australia, two key jurisdictions for climate change lawsuits, in order to explore the regulatory pathways that this litigation has taken, is taking, and likely will take. This analysis helps to illuminate the ways in which litigation influences regulation and forms part of climate change governance.