History of the project:
- 2 November 1978, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation set up the Working Group “Ecology and Territory”, coordinated by Judge Amedeo Postiglione, with several Italian magistrates and experts from the scientific society, in order to promote the creation of legal environmental data bases.
- The Italian Supreme Court of Cassation seemed to be interested even at the European dimension of the environmental juridical information of the European Community Countries; thus taking part to the Project ENLEX (Environmental Lex) and organizing promoting initiatives addressed to the experts of the different Countries (seminars held in 1986 and in 1987) in cooperation with the EEC and with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
- Regarding the important topics of the right to the environment and environmental damage, the working team “Ecology and Territory” committed itself with great enthusiasm, supporting the creation of the new Ministry of Environment and confronting with experts of other Countries.
- 9-10 May 1986, after the environmental disaster of Chernobyl, an International Forum on “Justice and Environment” was held in Rome at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. The Forum was attended by the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the President of the Accademia dei Lincei, the Prof. Romano Prodi (at the time President of IRI, who also supported the initiative).
- Main topics of the forum were: “Environmental damage” and “Right to the Environment”. The speech held by Romano Prodi was particularly significant, it dealt with the existing link between environmental and economic damage. This meeting gave the start for a new initiative, mainly addressed to the international Environmental situations. In this context took shape the idea to promote a more effective right to the environment even at an international level and to study the plans feasibility in order to give specific and permanent organs of control and warranty for the environment, to the International Community.
- During the first months of 1988, Judge Postiglione, with other citizens, created an Association titled “International Court of the Environment”. An initial support was given by some Italian juridical and scientific institutions: the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the National Research Council. These institutions gave an important scientific contribution.
- 21-24 April 1989, the Supreme Court of Cassation organized at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome, the first International Conference “For Promoting More Effective International Law on the Environment and an International Court of the Environment within the United Nations”. During the conference Judge Amedeo Postiglione suggested the creation of an organism ad hoc of supranational jurisdiction.
- 18 September 1990, was created the Italian Promoting Committee for the creation of an International Court of the Environment.
The Italian Promoting Committee had two aims:
1. the plan processing for an International Court of the Environment within 1991 and the organization of a Seminar addressed to experts from all over the world, to be held in Florence, Italy.
2. the presentation of the Project to the UN General Secretary and the International Conference on Environment, to be held in Brazil in 1992.
- 12 October 1990, was launched the Campaign for the creation of the International Court of the Environment.
- 10-12 May 1991, took place in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio, the Second International Conference “A proposal for an International Court of the Environment within the United Nations”, in order to deepen characteristics and functions of the International Court of the Environment. Organizers of this initiative were: the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation (through the Scientific Secretary), the Municipality of Florence and the Tuscany Region.
- 24 September 1991, the Chief Justice of the Italian Supreme Court, H.E. Antonio Brancaccio, who chaired the International Conference in Florence, decided on his own initiative to establish a Scientific Secretariat of ICEF by a Special Decree for the promotion of an International Court of the Environment at the UNO, with a view to future development. The Scientific Secretariat, an organ of the Court, is located at the Court and directed by Judge Amedeo Postiglione.
- According to the event organized at the Court of Cassation of Rome and Florence, under suggestion of Alex Langer and other European colleagues, the European Parliament deliberated a Resolution for the creation of an International Court of the Environment at the UN, to be presented in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992,.
- 22 May 1992 – in view of the Conference in Rio de Janeiro, the Promoting Committee became ICEF “International Court of the Environment Foundation”, officially registered in Rome as an NGO.
- 1-12 June 1992, ICEF attended the UNCED Conference, in Rio de Janeiro. At the Conference suggested the creation of two new organisms for the control and monitoring of the environment: an International Agency or High Authority of the environment and an International Court of the environment.