Letter from the chairman
We live in times as troubled as they are fascinating, in which four fundamental revolutions – in science, technology, culture and ethics – have been simultaneously set in motion, interacting and feeding off each other with high levels of synergy.
The discoveries of quantum physics have shattered all distinctions between matter, mind and spirit and may serve to symbolize our era, which will be dominated in all areas and to an extreme degree by an ever-quickening pace of change, relativity and, above all, complexity.
This phenomenon will have a far-reaching impact on both the public realm and citizen behavior, and the duties and objectives of all levels of society, barring none.
The legal class in particular – which includes academia, the world of education, the courts and the legal profession – will have to ask itself questions as to the nature of its new mission, the fundamental tasks to be dealt with, and wherein lie the problems, difficulties and barriers which must be faced and overcome. In an era in which the legal domain holds immense sway over society, it is crucial to develop research centers to actively study and analyze general interest subjects for the good of civil society.
The Garrigues Foundation aims to be just such a center of research, anticipating problems and proposing practical solutions, in two clearly defined areas:
The globalization of law: analysis of the current legal shortcomings in the globalization process, the fundamental need to strengthen global institutions and the creation of a global law. A global law that is separate from, and superior to, international law, taking the personality principle as its core belief and leading us to the principle of universality, challenging the notion of territoriality which forms the bedrock of international law. While this may now seem a utopian aim, in reality it is not. Furthermore, even if this were the case, it would be worth fighting for as, in the end, utopian ideals often end up becoming a reality.
We need an “ius novum universale”, a legal system anchored by the emerging global civil society and solid global institutions with universal jurisdiction, based on the principle of solidarity.
The “new fields of law” that have emerged as a result of the impressive strides made in the fields of science and technology, above all in the fields of information technology (e.g. the impact of the Internet on society) and in medical science (e.g. bioethics, which has become the most attractive and interesting branch of modern-day science). In this regard, one need only mention the possibilities and risks presented by genetic engineering – including cloning – to realize the veritable Pandora’s Box that will be opened and which we will have to know how to interpret and, insofar as this is possible, supervise and manage.
The Foundation’s other main area of activity is handling the majority of the Community Outreach initiatives of both the staff of Garrigues and the Firm itself, through three courses of action: probono work, volunteer initiatives and projects.
These are marvelous challenges to which all of us here at the Garrigues Foundation intend to devote the greatest of dedication and enthusiasm.