center for sustainable justice


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Alexander F. de Savornin Lohman

 

As a young lawyer, Alexander Lohman quickly realized that justice did not deliver what his clients really needed. His quest to be meaningful to his clients brought him into contact with other disciplines, other religions and other cultures and he joined a visionary think tank of the sustainability movement.

 

He realized that the courts and the legal profession needed to focus on improving relations between people and making them healthier, as otherwise the quality of society would deteriorate.

Environmental protection should be given a broader meaning as not only the natural environment must be protected, but also the social environment. In this context, the courts have the crucial duty to guarantee the quality of the social environment and, where possible, to improve it if things go wrong in daily life.

 

In his own law firm, Lohman started to develop a sustainable legal approach. The legal culture was not yet ready for socially sustainable principles, but still Lohman managed to achieve exceptionally good results. He improved his approach during 20 years, discovering how conflicts could be resolved in a sustainable way and what the relationship is between dispute resolution and conflict resolution. As part of this, he developed the Lohman Cabbage Conflict Model.

 

In 2007, Lohman started researching justice innovation in key countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He visited numerous projects and discovered that innovative courts always focus on solving problems structurally and improving social cohesion to contribute optimally to the quality of society.

 

As Lohman’s research findings reaffirmed the significance of sustainable justice, he started presenting his ideas at international conferences. His vision was widely endorsed and he got a large international network of contacts.

 

In 2010, Lohman founded the Center for Sustainable Justice in order to establish sustainable justice world-wide. In 2012, after 40 years of service, he resigned his law practice to be able to fully focus on sustainable justice.

In 2015 he wrote the Sustainable Justice Charter together with Jaap van Straalen.

 

Lohman believes that courts have an important task to fulfil in the pursuit of sustainability:

If the justice system becomes socially sustainable, it will set a powerful example that will positively influence the entire field of the legal profession and extrajudicial conflict resolution. Also the criminal justice system will change and improve structurally.

 

Lohman was married for 23 years. He divorced, has three children and seven grandchildren. He is a lover of nature and gardens, an enthusiastic practitioner of the Indonesian martial art Pentjak Silat and he weekly accompanies West African dance lessons, together with African and Dutch percussionists.