General background on the historical necessity to develop Laws protecting Future Generations
To officially open the NCP International Summer School, we had welcoming words from institutions holding the Normandy Chair for Peace. They spoke about the importance of organizing such events in order to enrich the values espoused by the Region of Normandy. Their words affirmed the commitment of the NCP to uphold and to protect values of peace, freedom, human rights and democracy. We were joined by esteemed individuals namely–Elsa Jaubert, the Vice-President of the Commission for Education and University Life of the University of Caen, Christophe Rochais, Vice-President in charge of International development, Aurélie Ménard, Responsable de la recherche Université de Caen, Cyril Aubert-Geoffroy, CNRS régional delegate in Caen, and Pascal Buléon, the Directeur de la Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines.
Changing the narrative: From a symbol of war to a Symbol of Peace
In order to set the tone for the 5-Day summer school, the participants were inspired by no less than Tony Oposa, leader of the Normandy Chair for Peace and world-renowned environmental lawyer-defender. With his distinct way of storytelling, the participants learned the meaning of environmental activism. This was followed and reaffirmed by Prof. Nicholas Robinson, Chair Emeritus of the Normandy Chair for Peace, who emphasized the transformative roles of ecological law.
Entry into a Transgenerational Era
A shift in paradigm–from intergenerational equity to transgenerational rights. Emilie Gaillard, General Coordinator of the Normandy Chair for Peace, speaks about affording rights to future generations and why this is necessary in the anthropocene epoch. Further, to reinforce such forward-thinking, Professor Alexandra Aragao of the Faculty of Law of Coimbra discussed the duty of legal eco-innovation for the protection of future generations.
Philosophical and legal contexts of the need for laws protecting future generations
Prof. Mary-Evelyn Tucker, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar of the Yale School of the Environment, spoke about the need for a cosmology of peace with a fresh perspective of man’s connection with the universe.
Equally important, Profs. Katy Gwiazdon, Chair of the Ethics Specialist Group, IUCN, and Cristiane Derani of the University of Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, instill in the participants the necessity of understanding how colonial mentality has brought about systemic problems prevalent in nations and societies today. Hence, the advent of the decolonisation era of law and institutions. The rise in efforts to decolonize thoughts unconsciously indoctrinated in many of us, is a crucial step towards addressing institutional problems.
When speaking about environmental law and climate litigation, it follows that we need to tackle environmental ethics for lawyers. In order to uphold the foundation of environmental values, Prof. Jochen Sohnle of the University of Lorraine, draws attention to the interplay between law and philosophy in developing legal norms for environmental protection.
From Stockholm 1972 to Stockholm + 50 : Towards the recognition of a Common Agenda for a Common Future
Finally, Prof. Narinder Kakar, Permanent Representative to the United Nations of the UN-mandated University of Peace in Costa Rica, presents the UN Secretary-General’s vision on the future of global cooperation through the Common Agenda for a Common Future. This is an agenda of action, designed to strengthen and accelerate multilateral agreements and more importantly to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.
Kenny Ng – The University of Sydney, Australia
“Great introduction to the NCP Summer School, with very engaging speakers from Asia and the Americas. Appreciated the physical activity Tony Oposa got us to do as a warm up for the next few days.”
Gaia Hasse – UFSC – Brazil
“The first day of the summer school was inspiring and helped setting the tone for the next few days. Atty. Tony Oposa has inspired us to use law in a non-confrontational way – yet aiming at change and improvement. Key takeaways were that we can use law and science to change the mind and shape a better future, and that we must turn adversaries into allies and colleagues. We had the opportunity to explore views on the urge to create a transgenerational revolution in ethics and law, developing a legal system in which we are at peace with nature. While thinking about this new paradigm, we were presented with possible paths for creating it, talking about circular economy, ecological integrity, social rights and equality, legal eco-innovation and decolonization.”