WPS 2013-02: Legislating for Humanity

Eyal Benvenisti

This contribution discusses the legitimate scope of what it calls ‘legislation for humanity,’ namely the unilateral regulation by states of activities in and also outside the state whose goal is to prevent or remedy global public ‘bads’ such as global warming.

The chapter approaches this question from a theoretical framework which regards sovereign states as embedded in a global order of which they are parts and to which they owe certain obligations as ‘trustees of humanity’. As such they are entitled to – indeed, in some instances they must – act unilaterally for the common good, as long as they meet rigorous conditions that ensure that the interest and opportunities of all affected stakeholders are seriously taken into account.

Legislating for Humanity WPS 2-13