Intergenerational justice from future generations to Earth system governance. Via Climate litigation, could Law write a new integration between conteporary economic, social, and political issues?

Clarissa Giannaccari (Sapienza Università di Roma)


The recent debate on the climate crisis, environmental protection, and sustainable development is closely linked to thinking about future generations. In particular, there is a renewed interest in intergenerational justice and a revival of the older theories formulated by John Rawls and Edith Brown Weiss. Recently, the pages of the European Journal of International Law show two polarised positions: one against and one in defense of future generations.
There are many challenges that the law faces in responding to the interconnected governance of the Earth system. Economic theories, on the one hand, and legal doctrines, on the other, recall the fundamental opposition between the ethnocentrism and individualism designed by Western law and the holism and diffusionism typical of systems outside the Western legal tradition. Thus, it becomes crucial to design a new balance between contemporary issues of environmental law, thanks to the help of comparative law.

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