Environmental justice as an emerging subject in Spain: the case of CEDAT
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Environmental justice as an emerging subject in Spain: the case of CEDAT

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Slides for the presentation by Jordi Jaria i Manzano and Maria Marques i Banque (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) at UKCLE's Environmental justice in legal education event

Slides for the presentation by Jordi Jaria i Manzano and Maria Marques i Banque (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) at UKCLE's Environmental justice in legal education event

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  • 1. Environmental Justice as emerging subject in legal education in Spain: the case of CEDAT Dr. Jordi Jaria i Manzano (jordi.jaria@urv.cat) Dra. Maria Marquès i Banquè (maria.marques@urv.cat) Tarragona Centre for Environmental Law Studies (CEDAT) Universitat Rovira i Virgili
  • 2. Environmental justice in Spanish environmental law: academic developments
    • Environmental justice as such is a very new subject among Spanish legal academics
    • In Spanish context, it has to be interpreted in the framework of the Social state clause, typical of continental constitutionalism
    • This drives to a slightly different approach regarding Anglo-Saxon legal tradition
  • 3. CEDAT research on environmental justice
    • Starting from certain topics of its previous research, as public participation or liability for environmental damage, CEDAT has began to develop research in the domain of environmental justice
    • CEDAT has designed an innovative research project oriented to integrate the idea of environmental justice in the understanding of environmental law in Spain
    • Due to this new research trend, environmental justice is gaining presence in the Masters program on environmental law of the centre
  • 4. Environmental justice as a ‘tacit’ topic
    • As Molière’s character Monsieur Jourdain, which spoke in prose without knowing it, some teachers have dealt with environmental justice topics without knowing it
    • This has been the case of certain subjects of the Masters program on environmental law in the past (some of them opened to undergraduate students as well)
    • The new developments in CEDAT research lead also to a conscious treatment of environmental justice in teaching
  • 5. Introducing the environmental justice approach in the Masters program on Environmental Law (I)
    • Environmental justice, adapted to the particularities of a continental legal system, can be easily introduced in subjects dealing with topics like environmental rights or liability for environmental damage
    • CEDAT members can align its recent research with their teaching on certain subjects of the Masters program like ‘Environmental administrative intervention’, introducing environmental justice topics
    • Obviously the relatively new ‘discovery’ of this point of view makes this introduction more or less ‘experimental’.
  • 6. Introducing the environmental justice approach in the Masters program on Environmental Law (II)
    • On the other hand, some management-oriented subjects in the Masters program allow students to deal with environmental justice
    • This is particularly the case of ‘Analysis and management of environmental conflict’
    • This subject focus on environmental controversy, a field very suitable for the treatment of environmental justice issues (for example, the recent debate in Spain about the location of nuclear waste)
  • 7. Environmental justice and clinical legal education: the Environmental Law Clinic
    • CEDAT started in 2005 a pioneer experience in Spanish legal education: the Environmental Law Clinic (ELC)
    • In this context, students work in real cases provided by live clients
    • Given the profile of some of these clients (for example, NGO’s), environmental justice issues are present in some cases (for example, the damage caused by mining in Yanacocha, Peru)
    • ELC offers a service of environmental mediation, where students can deal with environmental justice topics in the framework of a real social conflict
  • 8. Conclusions
    • We are somehow working on a new subject in our academic context, linking research with teaching
    • We have realized that some of our teaching had been focused on issues which can be studied with an environmental justice approach
    • We must underline the possibilities of dealing with environmental justice issues in the context of clinical legal education, where we have a wide field to explore