Source: (2004) In, Lukas H. Meyer, ed., Justice in Time: Responding to Historical Injustice. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Pp. 9-52.

In this essay, editor Lukas Meyer provides a substantial introduction to the topic of intergenerational justice and significant issues connected with it. The basic question is whether justice considerations apply to intergenerational relationships? In other words, do principles of distributive justice apply to a present generation in its relationships with past and future generations? That is, do the acts of past generations create duties or obligations of justice for the present generation? Similarly, do potential conditions for future generations impose duties or obligations on the conduct of the present generation? In considering these kinds of issues, and in interaction with other commentators on the topic of intergenerational justice, both in this book and in other writings, Meyer discusses certain theoretical and actual problems or questions. These include, among others, the following: the problem of whether there are no rights for past and future generations that encumber a present generation; new claims for original rights to land (e.g., American Indians’ claims); individual or collective guilt and responsibility; criminal justice structures and processes, transitional justice, and movement toward democracy; and victimization.