A fair and effective future climate. How we should consider the interests of young people and future generations in climate law-making.
Climate change is extremely likely to have a severe impact on the lives of young people currently alive and future generations, even when adequate mitigation and adaptation measures are taken the coming decades. For future generations, i.e. those yet unborn, it is theoretically impossible to represent themselves in our (global) democratic systems in a direct manner. But also young citizens, i.e. those below the voting age, are excluded from almost all political decision making regarding their future. Currently political and legal systems are often more short-term oriented, and mechanisms purporting to safeguard people’s long-term interests stay at a minimum.
This research focuses on whether, to what extent and how the interests of future generations and young people should be considered in international climate law-making. It provides a normative framework assessing our intergenerational obligations, and analyses which political and legal mechanisms would be fair and efficient means to prevent further violation of these obligations. The research is highly interdisciplinary, as it combines environmental ethics, political science, national and international law, and moral psychology to gain insight in the current short-term bias of many legal and political mechanisms, and to assess proposals to make these institutions more long-term oriented.
Before joining the University of Tasmania, Nicky finished a bachelor and research master in Philosophy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Here she gained a strong background in political philosophy, philosophy of education, climate ethics and human rights, before merging these philosophical with legal skills in her multidisciplinary PhD. Next to this, Nicky actively promotes social and environmental justice in other ways, as researcher for the Climate Justice network, convenor of Fossil Free UTAS, organiser of support groups for queer people, member of the Ally Network Leadership Group, and as a founder and owner of several dance schools. Also, Nicky has a wide variety of governance experience from among others being a member of UTAS’ Ally Network Leadership Group, president of the UTAS Salsa Dance Society, founder of Lindy Hop Amersfoort, and vice chair of the UU’s Degree Program Advisory Committee of the rMA Philosophy.
Nicky has published on intergenerational justice in among others the Intergenerational Justice Review and On Education, and has contributed a chapter to the edited volume Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice. She has presented her work at many international conferences, including at ‘Bridging Gaps of Affluence, Nation and Time’ of the Climate Future Initiative at Princeston University (2020, USA); ‘Democracy and Intergenerational Justice’ of the MANCEPT workshops (2020, UK); Frontiers of Environmental Law conferences (2019, 2021, Australia); and the Human Development and Capability Approach Conference (2020, New Zealand).
- Environmental ethics, specifically climate change ethics
- International environmental law
- Intergenerational justice
- Human rights law
- Law reform
Funding and Awards
- 2018. Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (AUD$81.084), Australia.
- 2018. Tuition Fee Scholarship, University of Tasmania, Australia.
- 2016. Cum Laude bachelor degree in Philosophy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
- 2016. Descartes College Honours programme at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
- 2015. Erasmus grant for social welfare studies at Linköping University (€1.750), Sweden.
(forthcoming) Dijk, Nicky van. ‘International human rights law and climate change’ In Representation of future generations: The global legal order and climate change, ed. Peter Lawrence and Michael Reder.
2021. Dijk, Nicky van. ‘From exacerbating the Anthropocene's problems to intergenerational justice: An analysis of the communication procedure of the human rights treaty system.’ In Earth System Governance Journal 10 100123. DOI: 10.1016/j.esg.2021.100123.
2021. Dijk, Nicky van. ‘The capability approach as a roadmap for re-thinking intergenerational justice.’ In Giving future generations a voice: Normative frameworks, institutions and practice, ed. Jan Linehan and Peter Lawrence. Edward Elgar.
2021. Lab Toekomstige Generaties and Nicky van Dijk. ‘Hoe zou werkelijke representatie van toekomstige generaties eruit zien?’ Lab Toekomstige Generaties.http://labtoekomstigegeneraties.nl/2021/11/23/intergenerationele-rechtvaardigheid/ [blog]
2019. Dijk, Nicky van. ‘Intergenerational Equity: Environmental and Cultural Concerns. Reviewed by Nicky van Dijk.’ In Intergenerational Justice Review 2. http://www.igjr.org/ojs/index.php/igjr/article/view/790/696 [book review]
2019. Dijk, Nicky van. ‘Reply: Playing the long game: rethinking education for sustainability.’ In On Education 4. https://www.oneducation.net/issues/
2018. Dijk, Nicky van, Jan Linehan and Peter Lawrence. ‘Imagining a Different Future, Overcoming Barriers to Climate Justice.’ In University of Tasmania Law Review 37(2). [non-peer reviewed]
- Bachelor of Philosophy, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 2016 (cum laude, GPA 4.0, with honours)
- Research Master of Philosophy, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 2018 (GPA 4.0). Thesis: Justifying compulsory education for sustainability.
Languages (other than English)
Dutch (native language), German (basic proficiency)
- Casual researcher of UTAS’ Climate Justice Network
- Casual sustainability staff of UTAS’ Sustainability Integration program for Students, working of the university’s framework for responsible investments and divestment from fossil fuels
- Member of UTAS’ Ally Network Leadership Group and the LGBTIQA+ student working group
- Member of the student working group of UTAS’ Sustainability Committee
- Member of the advisory committee of the Climate Futures Workshop (2021) at Princeton University
Nicky taught seminars for second year BA Philosophy course Science and Epistemology I and first year BA Artificial Intelligence course Introduction to Logic at Utrecht University.
Fields of Research
- Environmental law (480203)
- Environmental philosophy (500304)
- Climate change law (480202)
- Law reform (480406)
- Curriculum and pedagogy (390199)
- Environmental education and extension (410403)
- Access to justice (480501)
- Climate change mitigation strategies (190301)
- Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum (160301)
- Social impacts of climate change and variability (190103)
- Mitigation of climate change (190399)
- Law reform (230405)
- Effects of climate change on New Zealand (excl. social impacts) (190505)
- Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies (280119)
- Justice and the law (230499)
Journal Article(4 outputs)
|2021||van Dijk N, 'From exacerbating the Anthropocene's problems to intergenerational justice: an analysis of the communication procedure of the human rights treaty system', Earth System Governance, 10 Article 100123. ISSN 2589-8116 (2021) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
|2019||van Dijk NA, 'Playing the Long Game: Rethinking Education for Sustainability: A Reply to Su and Su and Niebert', On Education, 2, (4) pp. 1-3. ISSN 2571-7855 (2019) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]|
|2018||van Dijk NA, Linehan J, Lawrence P, 'Introduction to the Special Issue: Imagining a Different Future, Overcoming Barriers to Climate Justice', The University of Tasmania Law Review, 37, (2) pp. 1-24. ISSN 0082-2108 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Linehan J; Lawrence P
|2018||van Dijk NA, Linehan J, Lawrence P, 'Introduction to the special issue: Imagining a Different Future, Overcoming Barriers to Climate Justice', The University of Tasmania Law Review, 37, (2) pp. 1-24. ISSN 0082-2108 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Linehan J; Lawrence P
Chapter in Book(2 outputs)
|2021||van Dijk N, 'The capability approach as a road map for re-thinking intergenerational justice', Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice, Edward Elgar Publishing, J Linehan and P Lawrence (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 42-61. ISBN 9781839108242 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]|
|2021||van Dijk NA, 'The Capability Approach as a Road Map for Re-thinking Intergenerational Justice', Giving Future Generations a Voice: Normative Frameworks, Institutions and Practice, Edward Elgar Publishing, J Linehan and P Lawrence (ed), UK, pp. 42-61. ISBN 9781839108242 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]|
|2019||van Dijk N, 'Book review: Thomas Cottier / Shaheeza Lalani / Clarence Siziba (eds.): Intergenerational Equity: Environmental and Cultural Concerns', Intergenerational Justice Review, 5, (2) pp. 69-70. ISSN 2190-6335 (2019) [Review Single Work]|
|2019||van Dijk NA, 'Review of 'Intergenerational Equity: Environmental and Cultural Concerns'', Intergenerational Justice Review, 2 pp. 69-70. ISSN 2190-6335 (2019) [Review Single Work]|
|2018||van Dijk NA, 'Justifying compulsory education for sustainability' (2018) [Masters Research]|
Other Public Output(1 outputs)
|2021||van Dijk N, 'Hoe zou werkelijke representatie van toekomstige generaties eruit zien?', Lab Toekomstige Generaties, Netherlands, 23 November (2021) [Magazine Article]|
Nicky is a recipient of the Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship to support her PhD research, and the Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme to fund research visits to the Munich School of Philosophy (Germany).