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European ERC Starting Grant for Phillip Paiement

Published: 10th January 2022 Last updated: 10th January 2022

The EU's European Research Council has awarded four ERC Starting Grants of 1.5 million euros for promising research talent to researchers at Tilburg University. Phillip Paiement (dept. Global Law and Governance) receives the grant for an explanatory model for better transnational legal collaboration in climate change challenges.

Phillip Paiement will work from the Department of Global Law and Governance to develop an explanatory model of transnational legal collaboration in the field of environmental management. With a contribution to the sociology of strategic litigators, he will explore how lawyers can effect change to overcome transnational obstacles.

Paiement: “I am honored to be able to conduct this ambitious project at Tilburg Law School. My colleagues working on 'Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene' have been tremendously helpful in developing the grant proposal and I want to thank them for that. The project will continue to benefit from their feedback and advice as it unfolds. Now begins the process of finding the best candidates to work with me on the project.”

Project: TransLitigate

The Agency of Transnational Strategic Litigators in Global Governance

Litigators feature in a crucial role as we confront the pressing global environmental governance challenges of the 21st century. They possess an agency which is capable of driving the evolution and implementation of law across national boundaries and at the supranational level. This project proposes to develop a groundbreaking, explanatory model of transnational collaborations among strategic litigators which accounts for their modes of collaboration, how those collaborations affect their agency in controlling the issues in their respective fields, and how they negotiate complex ethical and professional challenges in their work.

It proposes to develop this model through the combination of comparative doctrinal research and inductive qualitative socio-legal research across four case studies of strategic litigation: climate change, large-scale land transfers, pollution caused by extractives industries, and species conservation. It pursues the ground-breaking aim of explaining the multi-faceted and complex deliberations among transnational communities of litigators which give rise to and shape the landmark cases transforming environmental governance in diverse national contexts.

With this contribution to the sociology of strategic litigators, the project will achieve a break-through in our understanding of how change can be initiated in legal systems to overcome perpetual obstacles and meet our global environmental challenges.