Event Title

Promoting Food Security: Human Rights, the Environment and the Fragmented Nature of International Legal Regulation

Location

Williman Room, Benson Center

Event Website

http://law.scu.edu/ai1ec_event/2014-journal-of-international-law-symposium-2

Start Date

24-1-2014 11:30 AM

End Date

24-1-2014 1:00 PM

Description

The international community continues to struggle with an effective response to the continuing problem of securing global food security. All agree that avoiding future food crises is paramount. Almost all agree that international solutions are needed. There is disagreement, however, on the specifics of these international solutions and tensions continue to make effective action difficult. These tensions play out in the competing policy prescriptions by governments, international institutions, and scholars. States, themselves, act inconsistently and disagree with each other about the measures needed to promote food security. All this dissonance is exacerbated by overlapping branches of international law that imperfectly promote food security worldwide. International environmental law, human rights, trade disciplines, refugee law, natural disaster law, and norms related to human security all have something to say about the global food system. These regimes contain rules that govern the right to food, the mitigation of environmental threats, agrarian reform, property tenure, agricultural patents, resource management, freedom of trade and investment, and population control. Nothing, however, is a perfect “fit”.

The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the current legal and institutional governance structure of the international food system. It seeks to provide an convincing account of the disparate norms and institutional framework that bear on food security from the environmental, human rights, agricultural, development, trade, finance, disaster, security, and population points of view. This is a necessary first step in thinking holistically about the effective global governance of food. It is also needed in order to develop an understanding of how all of these functionally differentiated regimes interact with each other, the situations in which priorities and values conflict, and the ways in which states and other actors make use of these regimes to best suit their interests (to protect food security or otherwise). Before any intelligent attempt at normative integration of global food governance can succeed, a clear understanding must be developed of the ways in which the overlapping legal regimes govern the production and distribution and food and shape the dynamics of famine.

Comments

Speaker Biographies:

Sumudu Atapattu
Sumudu Atapattu is the Associate Director of the Global Legal Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She teaches seminar courses on “International Environmental Law” and “Climate Change, Human Rights and the Environment.” She has LLM and PhD Degrees from University of Cambridge and is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. She has published widely on issues relating to sustainable development, human rights and the environment, and climate change and her book entitled Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law was published by Transnational Publishers in 2006. She is also the Lead Counsel for Human Rights at the Center for International Environmental Law, Montreal, Canada and is an Advisory Board Member of the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy. Before coming to the United States, she was an Associate Professor at University of Colombo Law School and a Consultant to the Law & Society Trust in Colombo, Sri Lanka Her research interests include human rights and environment, climate change, environmental migration and sustainable development.

Carmen G. Gonzalez
Carmen Gonzalez is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. She has published widely in the areas of international environmental law, environmental justice, trade and the environment, and food security, and recently co-edited Presumed Incompetent, a book on the experiences of women faculty of color. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice and on the Research Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law. She is also a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a non-profit research and educational organization that seeks to inform policy debates regarding environmental regulation. From 2011 to 2012, Professor Gonzalez chaired the Environmental Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. She has served as member and Vice-Chair of the International Subcommittee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (an advisory body to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on environmental justice issues), and has represented non-governmental organizations in multilateral environmental treaty negotiations. Professor Gonzalez received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Jan 24th, 11:30 AM Jan 24th, 1:00 PM

Promoting Food Security: Human Rights, the Environment and the Fragmented Nature of International Legal Regulation

Williman Room, Benson Center

The international community continues to struggle with an effective response to the continuing problem of securing global food security. All agree that avoiding future food crises is paramount. Almost all agree that international solutions are needed. There is disagreement, however, on the specifics of these international solutions and tensions continue to make effective action difficult. These tensions play out in the competing policy prescriptions by governments, international institutions, and scholars. States, themselves, act inconsistently and disagree with each other about the measures needed to promote food security. All this dissonance is exacerbated by overlapping branches of international law that imperfectly promote food security worldwide. International environmental law, human rights, trade disciplines, refugee law, natural disaster law, and norms related to human security all have something to say about the global food system. These regimes contain rules that govern the right to food, the mitigation of environmental threats, agrarian reform, property tenure, agricultural patents, resource management, freedom of trade and investment, and population control. Nothing, however, is a perfect “fit”.

The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the current legal and institutional governance structure of the international food system. It seeks to provide an convincing account of the disparate norms and institutional framework that bear on food security from the environmental, human rights, agricultural, development, trade, finance, disaster, security, and population points of view. This is a necessary first step in thinking holistically about the effective global governance of food. It is also needed in order to develop an understanding of how all of these functionally differentiated regimes interact with each other, the situations in which priorities and values conflict, and the ways in which states and other actors make use of these regimes to best suit their interests (to protect food security or otherwise). Before any intelligent attempt at normative integration of global food governance can succeed, a clear understanding must be developed of the ways in which the overlapping legal regimes govern the production and distribution and food and shape the dynamics of famine.

http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/scujil_symposia/environment/2014/5