"Punishing the last citizens? On the defence of climate necessity" and "Non-pecuniary loss in the law of contract: a comparative approach”
Dr Ivó Coca-Vila, Faculty of Law, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Senior Researcher in Criminal Law at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security, and Law.
Mary Nohra, Doctoral Student, Université Paris-Panthéon-Assas
A light sandwich lunch, including vegan options, will be available from 12.00 in the area outside the IECL Teaching Room.
Starting at 12:30, there will be two presentations by Academic Visitors to the IECL: Dr Ivó Coca-Vila and Mary Nohra.
The Seminar will conclude by 14:00.
Please send any access or dietary requirements to the IECL Administrator.
Dr Ivó Coca-Vila
"Punishing the last citizens? On the defence of climate necessity"
Recently, many court decisions in various Western jurisdictions have acquitted climate protesters who committed minor offences by invoking the necessity defence. According to this view, committing trespassing, damaging property, or violating official orders should be justified as the only means available to bring about a change in climate policy and thus prevent the extinction of humanity. The aim of my talk is to challenge the understanding of the necessity defence that underlies the pro-justification approach. In a democratic state, climate policy must be decided by parliaments and law enforcement agencies. This does not mean, however, that the protester should be punished more severely or even in the same way as an ordinary criminal: as a form of non-violent civil disobedience based on solid empirical evidence, there are good reasons to be very sparing in punishing climate protesters.
"Non-pecuniary loss in the law of contract: a comparative approach”
The legal treatment of non-pecuniary losses suffered after a breach of contract raises several questions. First, understanding what non-pecuniary loss is in the law of compensation of damages and what it should be in contract law, is a crucial point left to be uncovered. Second, the existence of mechanisms attached to the law of contract damages appropriate to non-pecuniary losses suffered after a breach is another relevant point to be studied. Third, the question of quantification of this damage cannot be left unaddressed. These questions arise in Common law systems as well as in Continental law systems, more specifically in French law. Legal literature and case law in Common law systems elaborates the subject and provides answers to these questions, whereas in French law, all the interrogations concerning the compensation of non-pecuniary losses in contracts are nearly left untouched. The main reason behind such a marginalization in French civil law is to be found in the liberal policy of the French regime when it comes to deal with the compensation of damages as a whole. Perhaps the obviousness of the answer explains the lack of examination of this matter in civil law. Consequently, the need for rationalization of the compensation of non-pecuniary damages is indisputable when faced with the laxist approach of French courts regarding the indemnification for damages. Maybe this whole time, the solution to the issue in France could be found in the approach conducted by the Common law.