The legal nature of justice in REDD+

Maguire, Rowena & Chapman, Sophie (2012) The legal nature of justice in REDD+. In Rethinking International Law and Justice, 24- 25th September, 2012, Istanbul, Turkey. (Unpublished)


Formation of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) policy within the international climate regime has raised a number of discussions about ‘justice’. REDD+ aims to provide an incentive for developing countries to preserve or increase the amount of carbon stored in their forested areas. Governance of REDD+ is multi-layered: at the international level, a guiding framework must be determined; at the national level, strong legal frameworks are a pre-requisite to ensure both public and private investor confidence and at the sub-national level, forest-dependent peoples need to agree to participate as stewards of forest carbon project areas. At the international level the overall objective of REDD+ is yet to be determined, with competing mitigation, biological and justice agendas. Existing international law pertaining to the environment (international environmental principles and law, IEL) and human rights (international human rights law, IHRL) should inform the development of international and national REDD+ policy especially in relation to ensuring the environmental integrity of projects and participation and benefit-sharing rights for forest dependent communities. National laws applicable to REDD+ must accommodate the needs of all stakeholders and articulate boundaries which define their interactions, paying particular attention to ensuring that vulnerable groups are protected.

This paper i) examines justice theories and IEL and IHRL to inform our understanding of what ‘justice’ means in the context of REDD+, and ii) applies international law to create a reference tool for policy-makers dealing with the complex sub-debates within this emerging climate policy. We achieve this by:

1) Briefly outlining theories of justice (for example – perspectives offered by anthropogenic and ecocentric approaches, and views from ‘green economics’). 2) Commenting on what ‘climate justice’ means in the context of REDD+. 3) Outlining a selection of IEL and IHRL principles and laws to inform our understanding of ‘justice’ in this policy realm (for example – common but differentiated responsibilities, the precautionary principle, sovereignty and prevention drawn from the principles of IEL, the UNFCCC and CBD as relevant conventions of international environmental law; and UNDRIP and the Declaration on the Right to Development as applicable international human rights instruments) 4) Noting how this informs what ‘justice’ is for different REDD+ stakeholders 5) Considering how current law-making (at both the international and national levels) reflects these principles and rules drawn from international law 6) Presenting how international law can inform policy-making by providing a reference tool of applicable international law and how it could be applied to different issues linked to REDD+.

As such, this paper will help scholars and policy-makers to understand how international law can assist us to both conceptualise and embody ‘justice’ within frameworks for REDD+ at both the international and national levels.

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ID Code: 57952
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: REDD+, Justice, International Climate Regime
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Environmental and Natural Resources Law (180111)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > International Law (excl. International Trade Law) (180116)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 07 Mar 2013 22:21
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 22:21

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