Making Sense of a Nonsense: Representation of the “Rights” of Future Generations
The legal conceptualisation of unborn generations and their specific rights raises important theoretical issues, and constitutes a special challenge to jurisprudence in general and legal philosophy in particular. Even the most fundamental and essential questions regarding the legal situation of upcoming generations are not settled yet. Are future generations capable of being holders of rights or not? And if they are, how can we conceptualise their rights? Can we use the conventional modern rights theories, either the “benefit” or “interest,” or the “choice” or “will” theory of rights for that purpose? What does it mean and how is it possible to “represent” the rights or interests of future generations? And so forth. In my paper I will endeavour to address some of these theoretical questions and make an attempt to offer an adequate conceptual framework for their analysis.
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