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Boston College Divestment Complaint

CDP has assisted student-led fossil fuel divestment campaigns in preparing complaints for submission to state attorneys general. These complaints ask attorneys general to use their charitable oversight and enforcement powers to investigate wrongdoing by universities whose fossil fuel investments violate their legal duties to the public and to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The complaint above was prepared in collaboration with students at Boston College.

Law Professor Amicus Briefs

CDP has filed friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of law professors arguing that trial court orders granting the necessity defense to climate protest defendants should be affirmed.

Washington v. Taylor (Supreme Court)

Washington v. Taylor (Court of Appeals)

Minnesota v. Klapstein 

Legal Resource Guide for Climate Activists

A guide to protesting, arrest, and the legal process for Bay Area climate strikers. Find a similar guide here tailored to New York, prepared for Extinction Rebellion’s NYC chapter. 

Principles of Climate Civil Resistance

The Principles of Climate Civil Resistance is a document summarizing the legal basis for resistance to the fossil fuel system. A PDF version of the Principles is available here. CDP’s update about the Principles can be found here.

CDP Amicus Brief in Delta 5 Case

Our supporting brief in the Washington v. Brockway appeal, applying the public trust doctrine to the climate necessity defense.

 Climate Change: What’s Law Got To Do With It?

An overview of the current legal framework of the United States as it relates to climate change, as well as tentative proposals for the effective use of legal tools by the climate movement.

Climate Necessity Defense Case Guide

A list of all attempted climate necessity defenses with details on the cases and outcomes. Contact CDP for related case documents.

Climate Necessity Defense Info Pamphlet

A guide for activists describing the purpose of the climate necessity defense and how it works. Here’s a Printable Version to distribute in zine form.

Political Necessity Defense Jurisdiction Guide

A chart describing the law of necessity in all 50 states and federal courts, with political necessity precedent and resources for further research.

Comic Explaining the Climate Necessity Defense (courtesy of Graphic Advocacy Project)

A fun visual illustration of the purpose and use of the climate necessity defense. Many thanks to the Graphic Advocacy Project!

Please also watch this quick explainer video on the effectiveness of nonviolent direct action from our friends at Extinction Rebellion NYC: