I recently organized and moderated a one-day workshop on “Rights, Governance & Climate Change” as a parallel event to the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Warsaw, Poland. The workshop was jointly hosted by the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University (GEM) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), in collaboration with the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL). The workshop convened over 50 scholars, policy-makers, practitioners, and stakeholders from a variety of fields and disciplines to examine how substantive and procedural rights can be used to support, design, and implement effective and equitable solutions to address climate change and related challenges at multiple levels of governance. The report posted here provides a brief overview of the discussions held during the workshop and outlines related outcomes and initiatives.
Along with Katherine Lofts, I have co-edited a new legal reference guide on the relationship between economic, social, and cultural rights and climate change released by the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, Academics Stand against Poverty Network, and the Governance, Environment & Markets Initiative at Yale University.
The guide seeks to provide policy-makers, advocates, and experts with basic knowledge of obligations and principles related to international economic, social, and cultural rights, along with concrete examples of their relevance to climate change-related policy-making. It thus aims to ensure that governments continue to meet their obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill economic, social, and cultural rights in the context of new challenges brought by climate change, as well as to highlight opportunities for policy-makers worldwide.
The guide can be downloaded here.
Along with Sean Stephenson, I co-edited a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law on legal empowerment of the poor in the context of sustainable development. The special issue provides a range of perspectives that address the nature, potential, and limitations of legal empowerment initiatives in the context of sustainable development. The entire special issue is available for free at: http://www.povertylaw.ca/
I have co-edited a new book with Cambridge University Press on the relationship between two important and dynamic fields of international law: international criminal justice and sustainable development.
Here is the synopsis:
Comprised of chapters written by leading academics and international lawyers, this book examines how the principles and practices of international criminal law and sustainable development can contribute to one another’s elaboration, interpretation, and implementation. Chapters in the book discuss the potential and limitations of international criminalization as a means for protecting the basic foundations of sustainable development; the role of existing international crimes in penalizing serious forms of economic, social, environmental, and cultural harm; the indirect linkages that have developed between sustainable development and various mechanisms of criminal accountability and redress; and innovative proposals to broaden the scope of international criminal justice. With its rigorous and innovative arguments, this book forms a unique and urgent contribution to current debates on the future of global justice and sustainability.
J’ai assisté à la 3ième conférence du Earth System Governance Project, qui s’est déroulée à l’Université des Nations Unies à Tokyo du 28 au 31 janvier 2013. J’ai partagé mes impressions et commentaires dans une série de dépêches sur la gouvernance et la politique publique de l’environnement sur le blogue de Génération d’idées. J’ai notamment discuté de l’importance stratégique de bâtir des coalitions d’acteurs ayant des raisons différentes de s’intéresser aux questions environnementales, de la nécessité d’adopter une approche holistique pour comprendre et gérer les interactions complexes entre les systèmes écologiques, sociaux et économiques, du rôle de l’apprentissage dans l’élaboration des politiques publiques et des grandes lignes de la gouvernance collaborative en environnement.
I have published a new article with Yolanda Saito on the concept of crimes against future generations in the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy. An electronic version of the article is attached here. The full abstract is reproduced below.
The existing approach of states to the global objective of sustainable development evinces a clear failure to address acts and conduct that are unsustainable in fundamental ways. Populations around the world are experiencing the contamination of their freshwater sources and critical ecosystems, the embezzlement of state resources, the forced labour of children and women, and the dis- criminatory denial of access to food, shelter, medical care, education, and cultural freedoms without adequate legal recourse. This article argues that serious violations of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and severe environmental damage can strike at the very foundations of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development. It out-lines the legal foundations and possible legal pathways of a new crime under international law aimed at acts and conduct that have severe consequences on the long-term health, safety and means of survival of any identifiable group or collectivity of humans. Crimes against future generations recognizes the power of individual criminal liability to fill the current governance gap that provides the permissive environment for transnational corporations and states to deny populations the basic living and environmental conditions to take first steps towards their own sustainable development.