UN attempted end run around US Constitution
In mid-2012, the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability (WCJGLES) was held in Brazil. The goal of the congress was to
"contribute to the support of Chief Justices, Attorneys General, Auditors Generals and other legal experts to the achievement of sustainable development and to provide inputs to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio +20."
As with almost all United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) sponsored activities, WCJGLES focused on the development and implementation of radical policies and laws. The most threatening component of the UNEP-based sustainable development movement is that it often seeks to alter and/or supercede the constitutions of free and democratic sovereign nations by instituting environmental rights which generally reduce the basic human rights of affected citizens. In other words, free and democratic countries get pushed towards authoritarian states. This type of pressure for alterations (either via explicit amendments and/or judicial activism) to the US Constitution within the liberal legal establishment is best exemplified by the following statements from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in January 2012:
"I would not look to the US Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012 ... I might look at the constitution of South Africa. ... It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the U.S. Constitution: Canada has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. Yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world."
Thus, we enter the age of constitutional globalization, driven in large part by multi-national organizations (most notably: the UN and its supporters), and with much of the intellectual groundwork conducted at international meetings like WCJGLES.
For those that didn't attend, WCJGLES made a summary of its congress available. Many of the statements are stunning. Apparently,
"Shiranee Tilakawardena, Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, highlighted the need for a change of attitude of judges to become 'activist judges,' saying courts have the capacity to change and be the drivers of change."
"Activist judges" run contrary to the principle of constitutional governance. In the debate between the framer's intent and the living tree doctrines of constitutional interpretation, activist judges subscribe to the latter. Of course, the living tree doctrine effectively negates the existence of the constitution (because via this doctrine, judges define an ever-moving pseudo-constitutional target), leading us to a post-constitutional state whereby generally unaccountable individuals make up the law as they go. Clearly not a desirable end game for western democracies.
Consequently, judicial activism is often anti-democratic by its very nature, and in no way should such activities/principles be either promoted or condoned in the West. The citizenry should be determining the "drivers of change" via their elected representatives. The judiciary exists to preside over fair trials, assess evidence, reasonably interpret legislative and constitutional documents as the framers would have intended, and render defensible and responsible judgements accordingly -- not to engage in (and particularly, lead) social engineering processes.
Another "participant suggested UNEP could provide information on relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that could provide support for objective reporting on environmental issues." Herein lies a fatal intellectual flaw: the assumption that environmental NGOs are objective. On the contrary, these actors are activists -- being subjective by definition. Talk about putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.
There were also suggestions "that making alleged polluters pay for technical assessments is a way to overcome budgetary restraints for environmental courts." Such principles are a perversion of justice, and merely serve to encourage frivolous claims that seek to financially penalize other parties. The onus should always remain on the accuser to prove any accusations against the accused. One could well imagine the horrors of a legal system whereby accusers were free to make any and all allegations against an accused that the accused was financially responsible for disproving. Tyranny via false accusations leading to personal financial ruin would result, all in the name of saving the authoritarian government a few bucks.
Of course, the Chief Justice of Nepal, the President of the Supreme Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Attorney General of Kenya, a Justice of the High Court of Pakistan, and the President of the Supreme Court of Bolivia played key roles in this meeting. None of the nations these individuals represent are democracies with a basic respect for human rights. The notion that government representatives from these non-democratic states should even be accorded standing at such a Congress is bizarre, particularly in light of other statements and declarations at this Congress regarding the importance of basic human rights. Nations should be seeking to establish full and healthy democracies long before they engage in international discussions over "Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability."
One of the most frightening aspects to come out of WCJGLES is that "[p]articipants discussed the role of auditing to address emerging issues, including: ... reversing the onus of proof." Nothing says eco-totalitarianism better than the presumption that you are guilty until proven innocent.
Nations in the West should stop financially supporting the UN and end this nonsense.