Over the last century, humans have radically transformed airspace: chemically, territorially, militarily, and psychologically. Technological developments mean that this transformation is accelerating and growing in complexity. The associated threats to our human rights are not adequately addressed by the current legal framework. ‘The Airspace Tribunal’, European Human Rights Law Review (2018).
The Airspace Tribunal is an international public forum established by Fall 2021 exhibiting artist Shona Illingworth and human rights professor and barrister Nick Grief. In a series of public hearings—London, Sydney, now Toronto, with further hearings to come in other parts of the world—this people’s tribunal is examining the impact of accelerating geopolitical, technological, and environmental change on the composition, nature, and use of airspace, and considering the case for and against a proposed new human right to protect all people from physical or psychological threats from above.
The Toronto hearing of the Airspace Tribunal is co-presented by The Power Plant and the Master of Visual Studies program at the Daniels Faculty, University of Toronto. Speakers from a broad range of expertise, disciplines and lived experience—including Climate Change, Human Rights, Artificial Intelligence, Geopolitics, Contemporary Warfare, Biopolitics, and Psychology—will consider whether we need increased protection from threats from above through the recognition of this proposed new human right.
The hearing will take place over three two-hour online panel discussions followed by a one-hour online summative session. The Power Plant’s Director, Gaëtane Verna, will be the Chair, introducing each session and all speakers. Counsel to the Tribunal, Kirsty Brimelow QC, of Doughty Street Chambers (London, UK), will pose questions to the Experts. Members of the audience—who are the judges—will also be able to ask questions.