The 1st Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium (TIEC) was held on 5-6 May 2016 at Rovira i Virgili University, Faculty of Legal Sciences, in Tarragona, Spain. It was an activity carried out under research project ‘From Sustainable Development to Environmental Justice: Towards a Conceptual Framework for Global Governance (IUSTAM)’ funded by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitivity (DER2013-44009-P).
The title of the 1st Tarragona International Environmental Law Colloquium was ‘Rethinking Sustainable Development in Terms of Justice’. Sustainable development is a normative concept that was conceived of as a paradigm for reconciling competing and conflicting interests in economic development, social justice and environmental protection. In legal terms, sustainable development has been portrayed in manifold ways. Some view it as a normative matrix for re-interpreting existing legal principles and rules and fostering the emergence of new ones, or as a meta-legal principle that exerts interstitial normativity. Others describe it as a decision-making framework for maintaining and achieving human well-being. Yet, the perception seems to spread in academia and civil society that, as a normative concept, sustainable development may already have seen its best days. Instead, renewed claims for the reparation of historical wrongs and the promotion of procedural fairness and distributive justice in international environmental law are increasingly gaining salience.
Prof. Jorge E. Viñuales (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Garrett Wallace Brown (University of Sheffield) addressed the overall theme of the colloquium in their presentations as keynote speakers in the first edition of the TIEC. The event counted with four panels: sustainable development and justice; sustainability, justice and human rights; sustainable development and courts: the role of national and international judiciaries and sustainable development in context, including a total number of twelve outstanding oral and eighteen posters presentations.