"Sustainability" has become a general catchword, whether it be in science, politics or the society in general. The concept of sustainability was probably adopted into common parlance through the United Nations report Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987. Yet, the exact meaning of sustainability remains unclear, which makes it possible to utilize the concept in a variety of ways. When it comes to "sustainable development," three generally recognized dimensions have been devised: ecological, social and economic. With regards to law, the ecological perspective on sustainability is perhaps the most well-known and obvious, as we can observe from environmental law. Following the financial crisis of 2008–2009, we now have a host of legal mechanisms that aim to contribute to the "sustainability of public finances."
In addition to these more traditional and explicit ways in which law relates to sustainability, we may also conceptualize other approaches. By way of example we could mention how traditional concepts of private law (e.g. ownership) hinder the development of a true circular economy as they are unable to grasp the paradigm shift that is taking place in behaviour and consumption patterns. The same is true also for intellectual property law, which is based on economic incentives and assumes a rational homo economicus as the driving force of innovation. In both of these examples, we see how our basic legal structures and the market economy result in a society based on ever more growth and consumption, although such patterns of action are unsustainable at many different levels. In light of such remarks we can ask: What type of a law could we imagine for a sustainable society?
The Board welcomes articles that engage with theme in a wide range of manners. Articles may focus on the explicit ways in which law tries to regulate or foster sustainability. Alternatively, articles may address the ways in which law implicitly affects sustainability, whatever "sustainability" is understood to refer to. Whether doctrinal, empirical or theoretical, articles should conceptualize and consider the broader societal implications of sustainability, instead of just pure description.
Submissions are to be made by Sunday 16 August 2020, via email to the Editors. Articles should be written in English or Swedish and they should not exceed 8,000 words (including footnotes and bibliography). All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer review before a decision on publication is made by the Editors.
The Finnish Editors of Retfærd:
- Professor Soili Nystén-Haarala, firstname.lastname@example.org
- University lecturer Tomi Tuominen, email@example.com
Retfærd Nordisk juridisk tidsskrift is a leading Nordic legal journal, ranked at level two in the Finnish Publication Forum. Established in 1976, Retfærd seeks to promote the analysis of law and justice from a theoretical and practical point of view on the basis of not only jurisprudence, but also sociology, criminology, political science, history, philosophy, economics, ecology, anthropology, feminism and other sciences. The journal therefore contributes to the interdisciplinarity of legal scholarship in a way that not only unveils relations of dominance in the law, but also focuses on critical legal science as an emancipatory endeavour. For these reasons, Retfærd publishes articles that examine law in broader context and challenge prevailing views on the law.