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Workshop: ‘Exploring the Potential for ensuring Sustainable Development by Implementing the Public Trust Doctrine in Ireland’


The Environmental Pillar, and the Centre for Environmental Living & Training (CELT) invite you to attend a workshop, explaining how we can protect our environment and secure our natural resources and heritage for the common good, using a constitutional equation based on the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD).

The workshop will take place in Dublin, and due to limited space we are asking people to tune in livestream, on Thursday 19th March at 3.15pm GMT,

The PTD is a principle of common law, traced back to Roman law and Magna Charta, that places a duty of trusteeship on the State, in relation to natural resources, which are recognized as the common property of the people. The PTD has been revived in the US, over the last 40 years, and has spread through over 14 countries worldwide, including Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and Pakistan, and is now being used in international climate change litigation.

The workshop is being hosted by the Environmental Pillar, a Social Partner that creates and promotes policies that advance sustainable development. It is taking place on foot of a recent motion by CELT, that Pillar members agree to enshrine sustainable development in our constitution, and consider the potential of the Public Trust Doctrine to achieve this. The format and content of the workshop have been developed by CELT, in co-operation with Public Trust Ireland (PTI), which is campaigning to have the PTD constitutionally recognised in Ireland. It will feature three presentations:

- Professor Mary Christina Wood, law professor at University of Oregon and author of Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, will give an introduction to the principles and history of the PTD, via Skype. She will also give an update on Atmospheric Trust Litigation, which is a series of lawsuits, filed by children in US states and Europe, to enforce public trust responsibilities on states, in relation to climate change.

- Vincent Salafia, BA, JD, LLM, Pillar Law Group Representative for CELT, and founder of Public Trust Ireland will present a summarised version of a paper he gave at Yale University to the 2014 United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) -Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy. It contains a model constitutional amendment, incorporating the PTD.

- Andrew St. Ledger, Environmental Pillar Representative for CELT, convenor of the Pillar Treecover work group, and PRO of the Woodland League, who led the successful, broad based campaign, against the sale of public forests, will introduce the background to how this workshop came about.

The workshop will take place at the offices of the Irish Environmental Network (IEN), Macro Resource Centre, Green St, Dublin, Co. Dublin, on 19th March, 2015, beginning at 3.15pm.



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