Nov 2021

Climate Crisis and Future Generations: Gregorio Fracchia


November 2, 2021

Labont Seminars 2021 – Climate Crisis and Future Generations
2nd November, h 4:00-6:00 pm (CEST)

Gregorio Fracchia (Università di Torino), “Quis custodiet custodes? Standing, metaphysics and transgenerational bond”


Abstract: The talk focuses on climate change litigation moving from those types of social actions that imply a form of cooperation between the generation that carries out the action and the one that continues and/or concludes it (transgenerational actions).   In this area, we find climate change litigation, i.e. “cases brought before administrative, judicial and other investigatory bodies, financial supervisory authorities and ombudsman schemes or in domestic or international Courts and organizations, that raise issues of law or facts regarding the science of climate change and climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts” (Golnaraghi et al. 2021, 11).  Considering the relevance of initiatives by citizens calling for action by public authorities, a study focusing on the moment of entry into the trial is particularly promising. On one hand, it is necessary to have natural persons living at the time of the initiative to take legal action; on the other hand, the interests protected have to do with future generations. The legal standing should therefore require the plaintiff to explain in limine litis the existence of the transgenerational ‘bond’, also by indicating in whose name he is acting. However, a different interpretation of the standing cannot be ruled out, even considering that, in this kind of litigation, the interest to bring the action (in terms of advantages sought by the plaintiff) seems to be less relevant. The talk aims at addressing the problem of the foundation of the transgenerational bond in an interdisciplinary key. This perspective could help both the legal system to define the concept of legal standing and philosophy – spurred to metaphysically find the transgenerational bond – to grasp the contours of a transgenerational relationship.