To find out more about the current Future Justice campaign, click here

Worst Policy Principles and Early Warnings

Today’s share of resources and wealth is deeply unequal, and participation and freedom of choice are undermined. The impact is psychological as well as physical. People are insecure, conflicts are prolonged, and nature is exploited.

Working from the basis of 7 Future Just Policy Principles, laws and policies threatening Future Justice can be easily identified. In order to prevent conditions causing future injustice and insecurity we not only issue social taboos, but also recommend to repeal or amend laws that

  • promote the unsustainable use of natural resources
  • exacerbate inequity and poverty within or between societies
  • undermine precautionary approaches to human health, natural resources and ecosystems
  • prevent public participation and hinder access to information and justice
  • perpetuate and encourage bad governance in practice
  • promote fragmentation and exploitation of social or ecological systems, that ignore human rights and undermine progress
  • violate the principle of common but differentiated obligations.

Scrutinising existing policies and issuing “early warnings” when policies systematically aggravate injustice, insecurity and biodiversity depletion has an important preventive effect: destroying ecosystems and communities risks creating conditions that make crimes against future generations not only possible but even likely.

Yet, the urgency for quick and widespread change also means we have to defend Future Justice by tightening accountability and enforcement.

Accountability and enforcement

Our societies operate on the assumption that those who break the rules are to be held accountable for their actions. Even in a system based on respect, dignity and mutual trust, there will be times when policies and laws to promote Future Justice will not be adopted, implemented, or will be ignored - by individuals, companies and governments. When this happens, there will need to be ways to enforce the laws, to recognise the interests of future generations legally, and to hold those responsible to account.

There are a number of ways to do this:

  • establish institutions to represent the interests of future generations, such as Ombudspersons, Guardians or Trustees (see more on our campaign for this here)
  • grant standing in the courts to those representing the interests of future generations
  • allow amicus curiae briefs in court proceedings
  • establish a specific court or chamber for disputes concerning future generations
  • recognise the interests of future generations expressly in a State’s constitution

"Patents on life and the rhetoric of the “ownership society” in which everything  - water, biodiversity, cells, genes, animals, plants – is property expresses a world view in which life forms have no intrinsic worth, no integrity and no subject hood."

WFC Councillor Vandana Shiva