SensJus: Citizen sensing as a source of evidence in litigation and as a tool for environmental mediation
Since June 2020 the SensJus project’s website is online!
You can find the website at this link https://sensingforjustice.webnode.it/
SansJus stands for “Sensing for Justice”. The project was born after a landmark court decision released in Texas, on June 27th 2019, in which a judge found the petrochemical company Formosa Plastics Corporation, liable for violating the Clean Water Act because of plastic discharge into local waters. The case was brought by a civic group based in part on citizen sensed-evidence which involved volunteer observations performed over years. This practice entailing grassroots-driven environmental monitoring could be qualified as ‘Citizen Science’ and, more specifically, ‘Citizen Sensing’. The contamination could not be proved through existing data held by competent authorities since the company never filed any record of pollution with the competent authority. Rather, the monitoring and data collection was almost entirely conducted by local residents.
The key objective of the Sensing for Justice project is to fill the knowledge gap to avoid a possible scientific and legislative vacuum and provide newly required research capacity in the EU. The research will be hosted by the European Commission Joint Research Centre, currently the leading actor in the research on Citizen Science for environmental monitoring and reporting, which will allow us to play a crucial role in the enactment of measures to release Citizen Science for litigation and mediation’s potential across the EU.
Nowadays it is essential to redefine Citizen Sensing as a manifestation of the broader Citizen Science practice having a potential source of evidence acceptable in environmental litigation, as an exercise of the right to contribute to environmental information and even as a method to foster environmental mediation.
Give a look to SensJus website to discover the news and upcoming actions of the project!