Recent Publications and Speeches


Paris Agreement, unambitious climate protection, precautionary principle, and human rights

Missing German and EU climate targets is not embarrassing - it is contrary to international and human rights. Even the unambitious targets themselves are illegal; all the more so their misconduct. More on this in our new legal opinion on the Paris Agreement here.

New Springer Nature Book Series: Environmental Humanities

From autumn 2018 Felix Ekardt will be the editor of Springer Nature's new book series "Environmental Humanities: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law". It is open to the entire social sciences, i.e. economics, philosophy, sociology, political science, ethnology, etc. Volume 1 "Sustainability: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law" by Felix Ekardt will be published soon and provides an overview of the work of the FNK with completely new perspectives in sustainability research: here.

Sustainable Land Use, Soil Protection and Phosphorus Management from a Cross-National Perspective

The scarcity of phosphorus (P) is a global concern that is not restricted to western industrialized nations. Based on several third-party funded projects, the industrialized nation of Germany, the emerging economy of Costa Rica, and the developing country of Nicaragua are examined in our new article in SUSTAINABILITY with regard to their legislation in the field of environmental protection and agriculture, in particular with regard to soil protection and fertilizer law. It becomes clear that soil protection in all three countries has not yet been adequately standardised in law and at the same time the efficient use of organic or recycled P fertilizers instead of (finite) mineral P fertilizers is inadequately regulated. here.

Felix Ekardt on "Growth - A Hard Habit to Break

A contribution in the Global Compact International Yearbook deals with fundamental issues of the sustainability debate: the limits to green growth and technological innovations, the preconditions of societal transformation towards sustainability, the complexity of human motivation, the underrated ambitiousness of the long-term goal in the Paris Climate Agreement. See, among other papers, here.

Universalism, Discourse Ethics, and Objectivity of Norms

The Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy has done a lot of research on the normative grounds of sustainability - respectively on the theoretical basis of both ethics and law. The most informative is the big German volume "Theorie der Nachhaltigkeit", but there is also a number of English papers. See, among other papers, here.

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The Term ‘Rechtsreferendar’

The term ‘Rechtsreferendar’ is difficult to translate and warrants some explanation. According to the Deutsches Richter Gesetz (German Judge Act), two state examinations are required to obtain the qualification for a judge post. The same qualification is required to become lawyer or prosecuting attorney. Moreover, this qualification is often required by ministries and other government agencies.

The first examination concludes the studies at university.

The second one finishes the Referendariat. This is a two-year period during which the Referendar – i. e. the upcoming judge, lawyer, etc. – works as an assistant at a civil court (approx. 5 months); a criminal court or at a prosecuting attorney (approx. 4 months); at an administrative court or some official authority, e. g. a ministry (approx. 3 months); at a lawyers office (approx. 9 months); and finally at an institution of one's choice (approx. 3 months). The second state examination consists of approx. 8 written examinations and an oral examination.

The idea behind splitting the legal education is that young lawyers should first learn substantial law only (as far as that is possible). The details of procedural law are then learned in a second step.