une œuvre qui se construit pas à pas et pièce à pièce

The metamorphosis of liability and the development of European and global liability law

What is a community? A group of human beings who feel a mutual responsibility for the impact of their actions on other members of the community and on common goods. This explains why the idea of mutual responsibility is found in all societies and cultures (which is not the case with human rights, which is a concept that originated in the West).

In a context where humanity is jeopardising its own survival by failing to take into account the immediate or long-term consequences of the actions of each of its members, responsibility is the backbone of 21st century ethics.

Yet our ethical and legal definition of responsibility is today far removed from this conception of responsibility. Over the centuries, we have created a vision and a doctrine of the "limited responsibility" of each actor. However, the sum of these limited responsibilities leads, as we can easily verify every day, to companies that are themselves unlimitedly irresponsible.

A real metamorphosis of liability is urgent today in order to bring about, in particular, the emergence of a global law of liability commensurate with the challenges of preserving the common good.

The territories, taken in isolation, are not on the scale of this colossal task. On the other hand, they are formidable laboratories of what a metamorphosis of responsibility can be on the scale of a territorial community, to make it a basis for the renewal of the social contract between actors. For it is indeed a social contract that is at stake when one wants to build cooperation between actors around the common objective of transition. Moreover, the European and global national networks of territories can become a lever to bring to the international level the demand for a Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, complementary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the foundation of a new world law.

See the document Métamorphoses de la responsabilité et contrat social