On 6/5/22 the Revue de Droit Commercial Belge - Tijdschrift voor Belgisch Handelsrecht - RDC - TBH held its annual conference dedicated this year to sustainability and law (Duurzaamheid en recht / La durabilité et le droit).
Together with Alain François and Ludo Cornelis, our colleague Régine Feltkamp was invited to explain why and how private law can (and should) contribute to a sustainable living.
The main points of their reflection are the following :
➡️Scientific consensus points out that economic and industrial human activities cause the climate and ecological distress we are facing
➡️Economic and industrial activities are based on and made possible by private law mechanisms
➡️Private law mechanisms contributed to the climate/ecological crisis we are in , but...
➡️Private law also contains several safeguards, aiming at sanctioning excesses in self-determination (= freedom to contract / conduct a business) through private acts (= balancing self-determination of a person against self-determination and other fundamental rights (e.g. right to life) of others
➡️Read in conjunction with the fundamental rights in higher norms they implement, these safeguards may allow some action in awaiting further specific intervention of the legislator.
You can find the power point of their presentation here.
You can read their full paper in the book Recht & duurzaamheid / Droit et durabilité, published by Larcier.
For further questions on how private law can be used in practice in sustainability matters, please contact Régine Feltkamp.