About the Symposium

What Does Our Legal System Owe Future Generations?
New Analyses of Intergenerational Justice for a New Century

Thursday and Friday, October 23 and 24, 2008
The George Washington University Law School

Despite the diversity of challenges facing the legal community as the first decade of the twenty-first century comes to a close, virtually all legal issues raise several interrelated questions: As we decide how or whether to change the law, in what way should our decisions be affected by our perceived obligations to our children, grandchildren, and generations beyond? To what extent should we assume that we know what is best for future generations, and how much do we tie their hands by our decisions today? And how much should we sacrifice today to make the world ‘better’ for future generations? These questions will be explored in several specific legal contexts at The George Washington Law Review’s fall 2008 symposium.

The symposium will feature panels exploring intergenerational justice within the areas of legal philosophy, constitutional law, environmental law, fiscal policy, and reproductive rights. Within each panel, participants will be challenged to determine what the nature and scope of concern for future generations should be in contemporary legal and policy decisions. This exploration of intergenerational justice is particularly timely because the symposium will occur just before the 2008 presidential election, when important legal and policy decisions will be at the forefront of national discussion. The symposium will undoubtedly make significant progress towards understanding the responsibility of the legal and political communities to future generations.


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