27 Oct 2015

Doctoral conference explores theme of intergenerational justice

A conference on intergenerational justice – the second in the WTI Doctoral Programme Conference Series - took place on 9 October 2015 to discuss different conceptions of intergenerational justice and distilling concrete institutional and policy mechanisms to ensure greater coherence in this area.

The conference was held under the auspices of the CRUS (Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities) “Droit, idées et politique de l’Europe – Recht, Ideen und Politik Europas – Law, Ideas and Politics of Europe joint doctoral programme of the Universities of Fribourg and Bern. Presentations ranged from philosophical expositions of intergenerational justice to specific conceptions around genocide, climate change, water and energy law, investment, health, culture and the management of natural resources. Speakers came from Switzerland, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. Marie-Claire Cordonnier Segger, a senior director and expert jurist on international law and governance on sustainable development (International Development Law Organization, Lauterpacht Centre: University of Cambridge and Centre for International Sustainable Development Law) gave the keynote address. Ralph Wilde, a reader at University College London, spoke on the intergenerational rights of the Chagos islanders with respect to colonial human rights abuses; while Christine Jojarth of Stanford University gave a talk on the political determinants of the optimal development pace for hydrocarbons. The star of the conference was child author and UN Children’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Jona David, who presented on A Child’s Vision of Rights for Future Generations and Sustainability. It is envisaged that the conference proceedings will be published in an edited volume in the near future. The conference was organised by Clarence Siziba, a doctoral fellow under the SECO Project partnership with the Mandela Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.