What is Future Justice?

Our vision of Future Justice is to change the unsustainable trends and create fair conditions for future generations – starting today.

Future Justice is about defining “progress” in new ways. Earning lots of money is not the only definition of a successful life. Learning more, giving more, sharing and engaging more… These are other paths of success and can create a more inclusive type of progress.

Future Justice is about recognizing that the planet and people are interconnected. Current business models are driven by short term profit and stakeholder demands for immediate returns. This is additionally fuelled by a culture of bonuses and money-making at all costs – driving deeper tracts of wealth inequality as well as disregard for the environment and sustainable development. Future Justice is about adapting and changing policies to new scientific evidence, so that we can begin transforming our world. It is a path towards a more secure, just, equal and creative world.

Future Justice is…

(Click to expand diagram) Studies have shown that people are willing to make sacrifices to enact reforms that benefit future generations.

… about thinking and acting differently, based on respect, dignity and mutual trust.

… a consideration not just of what is happening now, but the effects of our actions in the years, decades and centuries to come.

… a means of creating new ideas and frameworks for how we live and work, pass laws and protect our environment.

… the giving of rights to the poorest, the weakest, the ignored, to the planet and to the other living creatures we share it with.

… a protection for all the people yet to be born, whose opportunities we are compromising before their lives have even begun.

… about what we do now. Our actions today will determine the conditions of life for centuries to come.

Our traditional ideas of justice and legal procedure have been fashioned erga singulum, i.e. against an individual or individuals. Notions of environmental justice go far beyond this notion and are based on notions erga omnes, i.e. towards the whole world. Traditional legal procedures and concepts will need to be recast in this reality.
Judge Weeramantry
Judge C.G. Weeramantry Former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice and WFC Councillor

Why do we need Future Justice?

If we think about the future, we want it to be a prosperous world, full of opportunities for our children and grandchildren to create fulfilling lives for themselves and others, with the environment thriving and the world’s natural resources protected. But what are we doing today to ensure this is what the future will look like? Are our economies, our politics, and our societies on a sustainable track?

We can see from the facts and figures that the human and ecological worlds are suffering from our misguided actions:

  • $15 trillion was given to the world’s financial sector following the 2008 crisis, this would be 2000 USD per person on Earth. [1]
  • An estimated $250 billion in taxes are evaded on an annual basis by the world’s rich. [2]
  • $2 is the daily income of almost half the world’s population. [3]
  • Extinction rates are occurring at around 1000 times their natural rate, [4] for fish stocks this means that 75% are overexploited. [5]
  • We lose forests amounting to the size of England every year. [6]
  • The largest 3.000 companies caused 2.2 trillion in unaccounted environmental costs in 2008 alone. [7]
In all that we do, we inherently represent not only ourselves but past and future generations. We represent past generations, even while trying to obliterate the past, because we embody what they passed on to us. We represent future generations because the decisions we make today affect the well-being of all persons who come after us and the integrity and robustness of the planet they will inherit.
Edith Brown Weiss
Edith Brown Weiss Professor of International Law, Georgetown University
  1. www.feseurope.eu (PDF), The financial crisis – causes & cures, p 31
  2. www.triplecrisis.com, Lost finances: The fight against secrecy jurisdictions.
  3. Human Development Report 2009, Human Income Poverty
  4. www.fathom.com, Cambridge University Press
  5. FAO The State Of World Fisheries And Aquaculture (PDF),
  6. FAO Global Forests Resources Assessment (PDF), 13 million hectares per year, p xiii
  7. www.teebweb.org, Mainstreaming the economics of Nature, p 21