E. Gaillard, Univ. Caen / Normandie "The Nuclear Age & the Entry in the Transgenerational Legal Era"
Final Panel E. Gaillard, Univ. Caen / Normandie "Recognition of Rights for and Crimes Against Future Generations in the Nuclear Age"
The entry into the Nuclear Age marks the unprecedent acquisition of power of Humankind upon the Earth and the very conditions of all forms of lives and of Future Generations. Geologists name this new era the Anthropocene. This is a profound metamorphosis of the action of Man on Earth and finally, it deeply questions - from a theoretical and a pragmatic point of view - the foundations and the purposes of Law. The very specific challenge of facing Nuclear Risks requires a Law protecting Future Generations, i.e a Law for the Future.
Nuclear technologies introduce a deep gap between our abilities to put future generations into danger and our abilities to think about their legal protections nor their legitimate statute into contemporary democracies. In a way, this new era is asking for the entry into a transgenerational legal era: we need to renew the legal humanism in order to protect the Future. This could be nourished notably by new branches of philosophies which are renewing the ethical foundations for responsibility towards the Future.
Undoubtedly, we have to renew the legal framework of basic and foundational principles such as human rights, crimes, responsibility. This new juridical utopia takes into account the finitude of the Human existence, the essential transmission of conditions and possibilities for life of future generations (understood as being in a systemic relationship with the environment and all living beings). New concepts can also be discussed such as: Ecocide, Rights of Nature… We are at the crossroads of a convergence wave of new legal concepts which are nourishing and supporting the entry into the transgenerational legal era.