Can private law assume an ecological meaning? Can property and contract defend nature? Is tort law an adequate tool for paying environmental damages to future generations? This book explores potential resolutions to these questions, analyzing the evolution of legal thinking in relation to the topics of legal personality, property, contract and tort.
In this forward-thinking book, Mattei and Quarta suggest a list of basic principles upon which a new, ecological legal system could be based. Taking private law to represent an ally in the defence of our future, they offer a clear characterization of the fundamental legal institutions of common law and civil law, considering the challenges of the Anthropogenic era, technological tools of the Internet era, and the global rise of the commons. Summarizing the fundamental institutions of private law: property rights, legal personality, contract, and tort, the authors reveal the limits of these legal institutions in relation to historical international evolution and their regulation in the contexts of catastrophic ecological issues and technological developments.
Engaging and thoughtful, this book will be interesting reading for legal scholars and academics of private law and, in particular, those wishing to understand the role of law when facing technological and ecological challenges.
'The Turning Point in Private Law offers a radical and clear analysis of the most fundamental legal institutions of private law and suggests a way out from the serious threat to the survival of civilization on our planet caused by the dominant extractive policy in the Anthropocene. Bringing together the most advanced insights of legal theory, Mattei and Quarta demonstrate how ecological awareness can transform lawyers understanding of the generative system of law. A stimulating challenge speaking to lawyers as well as to everyone in today's political climate.'
– Antonio Gambaro, Accademia dei Lincei, Italy
'A political manifesto for the survival of critical legal thought, this brilliant little book responds to the most destructive forms of global capitalism with a counter-hegemonic interpretation of the foundational institutions of private law, in order to produce a new ecological order based on the collective intelligence of the common(s).'
– Horatia Muir Watt, SciencesPo Law School, France
Ugo Mattei, University of California, Hastings, San Francisco, US, International University College, Collegio Carlo Alberto and University of Turin and Alessandra Quarta, University of Turin and International University College, Italy.