The Theoretical Foundations of Intergenerational Ecological Justice: An Overview

Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, pp. 251-256, 2012

U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-07

17 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2012

Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

While few would deny that present generations have a moral obligation to preserve the environment for future generations, some theorists reject the existence of a legal duty in this regard. This article takes the opposite view. It argues that ample juridical as well as ethical social justice theory - contractarian distributive and reciprocity-based theories prominent among them - establishes that future generations have a legal right to a clean and healthy environment. But most helpful in ensuring intergenerational ecological justice, the author contends, is a respect-based theory of social justice which at its core honors the values that underwrite human rights law and policy inclusively conceived and embraced.

Keywords: future generations, ecological justice, social justice

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K32, K33, N50, Q20, Q30,

Suggested Citation

Weston, Burns H., The Theoretical Foundations of Intergenerational Ecological Justice: An Overview (March 2012). Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 34, pp. 251-256, 2012, U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2009348

Burns H. Weston (Contact Author)

University of Iowa-Deceased

405 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States

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