Palermo Summer School 2014


The 2014 EALT summer course under the direction of Prof. Nicola Gullo at the University of Palermo will be held from June 10-17 on the topic:

Human Rights, the Environment and Economic Development

Since the mid-twentieth century environmental concerns have gained centrality in national and international law and policy. As the detrimental impact of human action on the Earth increased, consciousness of the need to halt it increased as well and, though slowly and with many shortfalls, States have adopted national laws and signed international treaties aimed at the protection of the environment. The protection of endangered species, the conservation of non-renewable resources, the reduction of pollution, are some of the actions that are trying to influence economic development policies in the attempt to turn it into sustainable development policies.

However, only at the beginning of the 1990s the inextricable link existing between the protection of the environment and human rights has gained understanding. Dignity, freedom and equality, the core of the current debate on human rights, cannot be fully uphold in a world whose nature is depleted. Economic development cannot act as an instrument to improve human-wellbeing unless it bends to policies that respect the environment and defend the needs of both present and future generations. At the same time, the promotion of human rights, as the right to information and to politic participation, and the right to access to traditional natural resources, is essential for an effective protection of the environment, because it makes politicians accountable for it, it makes it valuable for economic actors, and it allows peoples and citizens to act as conservationists.

In order to nourish the understanding and consciousness of the interactions between environment, human rights and development, the 2014 Summer School proposes a full week of seminars on some of currently most debated issues. The seminars will draw on juridical, historical, philosophical, sociological and practical points of views, with the mentoring of scholars, activists, and experts.


Each morning two seminars will be held. They will explore the same topic from different perspectives and disciplines, aiming at achieving an effective integration of methods and solutions. In order to encourage a proactive participation, in the afternoon the participants will be engaged in a workshop on the topic discussed in the morning, with the support of the suggested and provided bibliography.


The seminars will debate about different topics concerning the protection of the environment. In particular, the main topics will be: 1) philosophical and theological roots of environmentalism; 2) the evolution of environmental law; 3) rights to the environment and human rights; 4) animals’ rights 5) environmental risk evaluation; 6) right to environmental participation and localization of public works; 7) reproductive rights and overpopulation control; 8) economic development and environment; 9) criminal law and protection of the environment; 10) foreign examples of environmental protection; 11) the protection of landscape; 12) theology and ecology.

Conditions of Admission:

As established by the Regolamento d’Ateneo of the University of Palermo, the Course is open to students holding a first or second level Master degree, PhD students, PhD, researchers with an interest in the topic and able to orientate themselves in the subject matters of the courses. No more than 30 applications will be accepted, and at least 15 participants will be selected among applicants from other Italian or foreign Universities.

Working languages:

Italian (ita), English (eng), and Spanish (spn).

Enrolment and fees:

For detailed information (programme, speakers, call, registration, housing and fees) see the download-box on the right. See also:

Inscription fees amount to 250 €. The deadline for inscription is on 23 May 2014.

Housing and meals:

Participants not residing in Palermo can be hosted in the rooms of the ERSU Palermo – Ente Regionale per il Diritto allo Studio Universitario, with very cheap rates. All participants will have access to University canteens (with very cheap rates). For more informations contact the Course Secretary.


Summer Course Secretary:

Mr Rosario Castiglione

Email: rosariocastiglioneunipait

Tel: +39 091/23892215



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