Research webinar

Sea level law: Case studies on council liabilities

One of the key trends in domestic and international climate litigation is in trying to establish who is liable for taking (or not taking) adaptation measures.

There have been at least 19 court challenges in Aotearoa to council decisions on adaptation to sea level rise.

Currently, councils have a lot of leeway in their approaches to climate hazard risks, including sea-level rise. Court action across the nation is testing the limits of council authority, and showing up gaps in the legislative and policy environment. And even though leeway exists for councils, some of their options will incur larger future liability costs than others.

Further, some councils – at least some of those involved in making adaptation decisions – appear to be unaware of the extent of their possible liability.

In this seminar, Catherine Iorns (Victoria University of Wellington) takes you through one aspect of her broad-ranging research into “Sea level rise, housing and insurance: Liability and compensation”.