Since the end of the 19th century, a series of international instruments and international organizations have been generated in response to humanitarian problems, in principle for war issues, which would later give way to the development of the human rights system that we know today. In this way, what became of an international criminal system with a multiplicity of subjects and jurisdictions was promoted, where the concept and application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction stands out, either by international tribunals or by the domestic courts.
Beyond the constant bid between the different actors, which generates advances and setbacks, today has come to permanently establish as part of the debate both the issue of legal persons and punishable subjects, such as the criminalization of crimes or environmental and economic-financial crimes.
Legal persons bring with them a particular debate regarding the influence and great impact they have on the orbit of human rights due to their current role in the international arena, particularly transnational corporations. Part of this debate is the fact that the current legal system, internal and international, does not effectively address the problems that entail these entities being the violators of human rights and even less the assumption of punishing these entities.
Likewise, the international agenda has begun to put more and more emphasis on: 1) the environmental problem, the violation of the right to a healthy environment that brings with it the violation of multiple human rights; and 2) the acceleration and multiple effects of the economic-financial crises and the consequent violations of human rights.
Legal persons as punishable subjects and the criminalization of economic or financial crimes and environmental crimes are intimately linked. Therefore, given its complexity, a holistic view with a transdisciplinary analysis is essential. That is part of the new great challenge of law, to unite its different parts to be able to solve the problems in a truly integral and non-fractional way.
As a proposal, the concept of Sustainable Justice, based on the concept of sustainable development, a system of justice that is not only crossed transversally by the environmental conscience, as a kind of green justice, but applies to each element that composes it, from the principles up to the process, the concept of sustainable development, that is, the economic and social side.