Hauptgebäude der Universität Innsbruck

The workshop took place in the main building of the University of Innsbruck.

Work­shop: “Sus­tain­abil­ity in a chang­ing legal order”

As part of the seminar "Sustainability in Constitutional, European and International Law", Prof. Esther Happacher, Prof. Walter Obwexer (both University of Innsbruck) and Prof. Jens Woelk (University of Trento) organised an Open Workshop on "Sustainability in a changing legal order" on 26 May 2023.

Several experts shed light on different perspectives on this crucial social, political and economic topic.

Starting with an introduction on sustainability in European and International law by Prof. Markus Beham (University of Innsbruck/University of Passau), the legal framework and how sustainability can be operationalised were made clear to the audience.

The second keynote lecture by Prof. Louisa Parks (School of International Studies, University of Trento) dealt with the topic from a social and political perspective. The speaker illustrated what role social movements play (and have played) in climate policy-issues. She also addressed how waves of social movements develop over time (advocacy- vs. protest-oriented) and how law can be a tool of these movements.

Another possible tool in the field of climate change was illustrated by Prof. Elena Fasoli (Trento University), who highlighted litigation as a tool to address climate change based on selected cases. However, some experts doubt whether this is really a viable solution for the future – that’s why they often speak of the "second best option".

The presentation by Pier Marco Rosa Salva and Prof. Elena D'Orlando (both University of Udine) focused on one of the practical aspects of climate protection: the role of local bodies in the energy transition and the so-called renewable energy communities.

Last, but not least, a student from the University of Innsbruck, Elena Sandulli, presented the topic of her diploma thesis: The role of national constitutions in the field of intergenerational equity and environmental protection. In modern constitutionalism, the projection towards the future and the protection of future generations plays an increasingly important role. The reform of the Italian constitution undertaken last year, which includes the interest of future generations in relation to the environment, can also be understood in this sense.

An exciting discussion and a summary by Federica Cittadino (Eurac Research Bolzano/Bozen) rounded off the afternoon.

(Sophie Mair)

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