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Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges

Aim of the series
The series Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges focuses on the way the law can meaningfully contribute to the debate about the global challenges, primarily sustainable development, climate change, degradation of the environment and the eradication of poverty. The complexity of the issues mentioned above involves a new way of thinking so that law makers, States, enterprises, society at large – and law – will manage to adapt to major shifts in due time. So far, the law arguably already provides a sufficiently sound basis for more global stability in many areas, but the least to say is that the boundaries of the protection of the law and the rules of conduct are rather unsettled. It would be in the best interest of all stakeholders to map the law as it probably stands. Gaps must be filled to cope with the challenges of our time. The law has to be interpreted in such a way that it can cope with the serious threats for mankind. Thus, the law would respond in a responsible and predictable way to these global challenges.

The debate, so far, is primarily about fundamental questions. In the impression of the editors, the greater part of existing publications is still rather abstract. Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges intends to shed light on a number of important topics, aiming to determine the rights and obligations of the respective “parties” affected as concrete as possible. As long as those rights and obligations largely remain in the clouds, the law is deemed to fall short to overcome deadlocked positions – especially, but by no means confined to, the debate between the global North and South. After all: not only States and enterprises, but also judges, attorneys, other jurists – and civil society – do not know with sufficient precision what they need to do, let alone why.

Many lawyers – and eminent experts – almost inevitably focus on parts of the law belonging to their fields of expertise. This is understandable, but the challenges ahead of us require that we borrow from legal concepts and other disciplines in as many parts of the law (and “legal families”) as possible. Such an approach will add something to what is already available. At the same time such an undertaking will challenge traditional ways of legal thinking. Shaping the law of the future will require solutions for sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and climate change, which will demand to get the legislator and the judiciary acquainted with the (legal) demands of the 21st century. This requires clear, balanced and convincing legal “blueprints”, based on solid legal concepts.


The editors of Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges invite leading academics and very promising younger scholars to write about the issues briefly mentioned above. Suggestions by others are most welcome. So are submissions for books and topics. Those who would be willing to get their manuscripts published or aim to write a book about one of the issues mentioned above in the series are warmly invited to contact the editorial board. The first volume, Shaping the Law for Global Crises, was published in March 2012.

Related events

The editorial board intends to organize events (meetings and conferences) about the issues mentioned before in relation to the books published and important topics to be tackled in new books. Also in this respect suggestions are most welcome.

Editorial board

  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Bosselmann, Director of the Centre for Environmental Law, Auckland (New Zealand)
  • Elbert R. de Jong LLM, University of Utrecht (the Netherlands)
  • Prof. Délber Andrade Lage, director of the International Law Centre (CEDIN), Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Pogge, Professor or Philosophy and International Affairs, Yale (USA)
  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Ruppel, University of Stellenbosch, Coordinating lead author for the chapter on Africa in the forthcoming assessment report (AR5) of IPCC (South Africa)
  • Jessica Simor, MA, CPE, QC, barrister Matrix Chambers, London (UK)
  • Prof. Dr. Jaap Spier (chair), Advocate-General in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, honorary professor at University of Maastricht (the Netherlands)
  • Dr. Elisabeth Steiner, Judge in European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (France)
  • Prof. Dr. Wang Xi, Associate Dean of the law school and Director of Environmental and Resources Institute, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai (China)
  • Jolene Lin, Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong (China)
  • Justice Brian Preston, President of the NSW Land and Environmental Court (Australia)

Advisory board

    • Prof. Dr. em. Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize Chemistry 1995 (Germany)
    • Prof. Doug Kysar, J.D., deputy Dean and Joseph M. Field Professor of Law, Yale (USA)
    • Romina Picolotti, President Center for Human Rights and the Environment (CEDHA), former Environment Secretary of Argentina, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    • Prof. Dinah L. Shelton, J.D. Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, The George Washington University, Washington DC , President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (USA)
    • The Hon. Mr Justice Annel M. Silungwe, former Chief Justice of Zambia, former State Council of Zambia, former Minister of Legal Affairs of Zambia, former acting Judge at the Windhoek High Court, at the Supreme Court of Namibia and at the Court of Appeal of the Seychelles and Director and Member of the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Halifax, Canada

    Contact details

    For further information, questions, suggestions or submissions, please contact Prof. Dr Jaap Spier, or fax + 31 70 3658700.

    Principles on Climate Obligations of Enterprises

    Principles on Climate Obligations of Enterprises (volume 5)

    Expert Group on Global Climate Change
    • Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐808‐8 | paperback | 1st edition | € 32,50 / $ 43,88 / £ 34,45
    • Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6274‐796‐8 | eBook | € 32,50 / $ 43,88 / £ 34,45
    Bridging the Gap between International Investment Law and the Environment

    Bridging the Gap between International Investment Law and the Environment (volume 4)

    Yulia Levashova, Tineke Lambooy, and Ige Dekker
    • Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐587‐2 | hardcover | 1st edition | € 97,00 / $ 130,95 / £ 102,82
    Oslo Principles on Global Climate Obligations

    Oslo Principles on Global Climate Obligations (volume 3)

    Expert Group on Global Climate Change
    • Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐573‐5 | paperback | 1st edition | € 20,00 / $ 27,00 / £ 21,20
    Climate Change Remedies

    Climate Change Remedies (volume 2)

    Jaap Spier and Ulrich Magnus
    • Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐080‐8 | paperback | 1st edition | € 46,00 / $ 62,10 / £ 48,76
    • Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6094‐829‐9 | eBook | € 46,99 / $ 63,43 / £ 49,80
    Shaping the Law for Global Crises

    Shaping the Law for Global Crises (volume 1)

    Jaap Spier and Elbert de Jong
    • Icon_printbook 978‐94‐90947‐43‐9 | paperback | 1st edition | € 36,00 / $ 48,60 / £ 38,16
    • Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6094‐531‐1 | eBook | € 25,99 / $ 35,08 / £ 27,54