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Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series - March 2021

Fri 9 April 2021

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The latest in the Legal Studies Research Paper Series (Vol. 9, No. 3: Mar 29, 2021) from Edinburgh Law School is now available.

View the full Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN

The Best Place on the Planet to be Trans? Transgender Equality and Legal Consciousness in Scotland

Sharon Cowan, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: In this chapter, I explore the experiences of trans people living in Scotland. Through the lens of legal consciousness, and using a ‘femiqueer’ perspective (that is, one that interweaves feminist and queer critical methods of analysis), I discuss the ways in which trans people in Scotland talk about their every-day experiences of discrimination and (in)equality. In so doing, I aim to increase our understanding of the lives of trans people in Scotland, but also contributes to socio-legal scholarship by suggesting a new strand of ‘legal consciousness’ - that of 'optimistic legal realism'. This is not a study of identity as such, or of law as such, but of trans people’s narratives about equality and discrimination in their lives, as well as how they negotiate living in and out with the trans and cisgender communities around them. In light of the particular attention (and much of it not trans positive) currently being given to if, and how, gender identity and expression should be regulated, and the policing of gendered spaces, it is crucial that we pay attention to trans people’s narratives: their intersectional experiences of equality and life generally in Scotland – and elsewhere – require nuanced and sensitive consideration.

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Climate Change And International Law Beyond The UNFCCC

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Edinburgh Law School
Alan Boyle, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: This is a pre-publication and pre-proof version of Navraj Singh Ghaleigh and Alan E Boyle, ‘Climate Change and International Law: Beyond the UNFCCC’ in Kevin R Gray, Cinnamon P Carlarne and Richard Tarasofsky (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law (Oxford University Press 2016). We address some of the structural limitations of the climate regime, and the capacity of other bodies and mechanisms of public international law - human rights, EIA in international environmental law, UNCLOS, trade, ICJ opinions - to contribute to the objectives of the climate regime.

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The Climate Constitutionalism of the UK Supreme Court

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: This note, forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Law (2021), considers the recent (16 Dec 2020) decision of the UK Supreme Court in respect of the planned expansion of Heathrow airport. The Court rejected the contention of the eNGO applicant, Plan B, that the decision maker acted unlawfully in granting permission for a new third runway. The note is part of a series of comments on the case - the others from the perspectives of planning and administrative law. The approach herein is from the perspective of climate law, and in particular constitutional principle. It argues that the Supreme Court was correct to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeal, in a manner consistent with the political constitution. In so doing the Court handed back the decision on the third runway to an expert limb of public administration (the Planning Inspectorate) established by statute (Planning Act 2008), rather than letting the matter be settled by a court.

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