Res Publica

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 385–409 | Cite as

The principle of liberty and legal representation of posterity

  • Kristian Skagen EkeliEmail author


This paper considers a guardianship model for the legal representation of future generations. According to this model, national and international courts should be given the competence to appoint guardians for future generations, if agents who care about the welfare of posterity apply for the creation of a guardianship in relation to a dispute that can be resolved by the application of law. This reform would grant guardians of future people legal standing or locus standi before courts, that is, the right to bring an action before a court of law for adjudication. Although the guardianship model faces several difficult theoretical and practical problems pertaining to the representation of different near and distant future generations, it is argued that this model – and certain other legal norms intended to protect future basic needs – can be justified on the basis of the principle of liberty.


environmental law future generations intergenerational ethics legal representation representative legitimacy the principle of liberty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNTNU – Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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