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Archive for Australia and New Zealand

Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century

By Dr. Michelle Maloney* and Sister Patricia Siemen**
ENVIRONMENTAL AND EARTH LAW JOURNAL, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Vol. 5 (2015) > Iss. 1

I. Introduction

Despite a proliferation of environmental law in the United Statesand around the world, the health of the natural world continues todeteriorate. In this paper, we will build on the idea that what we need is not more environmental law, but different approaches to managing human relationships with the Earth. We will argue that the burgeoning Earth jurisprudence movement offers a deep philosophical anchor and a range of practical and multi-disciplinary approaches necessary to create law reform and societal change that will better support the natural world and human societies than our current system. We will also suggest that one of the greatest strengths of Earth jurisprudence is its ability to combine a rational critique of some of our oldest western, legal, and governance structures, with a less rational and more emotive call to return to a sacred appreciation of the Earth and the wider Earth Community.

In Section II, we will outline the origins and key elements of the Earth jurisprudence movement and will demonstrate the ways that Earth jurisprudence can be used to offer a cohesive framework within which law, politics, science, economics, ethics, traditional wisdom and human spirituality can be woven together to create a more effective governance approach to nurturing the Earth. In Section III, we will explore some of the ways groups inspired by Earth laws have implemented their work.

Next, we will provide an overview of the work being carried out by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, an international network of lawyers and Earth Advocates. Finally, we will focus on the work of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (CEJ) and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) as further examples of the innovative approaches being carried out by advocates for Earth jurisprudence.

*Dr. Michelle Maloney is National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (www.earthlaws.org.au) and was a Visiting Scholar and Earth Laws Specialist at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (www.EarthJuris.org) at the time of writing this paper. She can be contacted at: convenor@earthlaws.org.au

**Sister Pat Siemen OP, JD, is the Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law (www.EarthJuris.org).

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Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century

Abstract

In this lead article, the authors build on the idea that we do not need more environmental law in response to the deteriorating health of the natural world. Rather, they argue that what is needed are different approaches to managing human relationships with the earth. They argue that the burgeoning Earth jurisprudence movement offers a deep philosophical anchor and a range of practical and multi-disciplinary approaches necessary to create law reform and societal change that will better support the natural world and human societies than our current system. The authors will outline the origins and key elements of the Earth jurisprudence movement. In addition, they explore some of the ways groups inspired by Earth laws have implemented their work. Lastly, they will provide an overview of the work being carried out by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, the Earth Advocates, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance.

Recommended Citation

Maloney, Dr. Michelle and Siemen, Sister Pat OP, JD (2015) “Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century,” Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ): Vol. 5: Iss.

Finally Being Heard: The Great Barrier Reef and the International Rights of Nature Tribunal

By Michelle Maloney, PhD, Australian Earth Laws Alliance

In January 2014, the newly created International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth (‘the Tribunal’) sat for the first time in Quito, Ecuador. The Tribunal, created by international civil society network ‘The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature’, admitted nine cases, including a claim on behalf of the Great Barrier Reef. Given the Tribunal has emerged from civil society rather than state-centred international law and given Australia’s legal system does not recognise the intrinsic rights of plants, animals, or ecosystems to exist, what possible benefit does this Tribunal offer the Great Barrier Reef? In this paper, I outline the creation and ongoing hearings of the International Tribunal and suggest that like many “people’s tribunals” before it, the Rights of Nature Tribunal offers a powerful alternative narrative to that offered by western legal systems regarding environmental destruction. It is also has the potential to play a role in transforming existing law and offers a welcome, cathartic contribution to the burgeoning field of Earth jurisprudence.

Great Barrier Reef Australian turtle

Click for more information

Finally Being Heard: The Great Barrier Reef and the International Rights of Nature Tribunal is published in the Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity Vol 3 (1) 2015, Griffth University, Queensland, Australia.  In the article, Michelle Maloney defines Earth jurisprudence and the Rights of Nature and situates the International Rights of Nature Tribunal within the work of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the broader context of the ecological crisis. She outlines the Great Barrier Reef case, which the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (‘AELA’) took to the International Tribunal in Quito and progressed in October 2014, by convening a Regional Chamber of the International Tribunal in Australia.

She argues that like many “people’s tribunals” before it, the Rights of Nature Tribunal offers a powerful alternative narrative to that currently offered by the mainstream legal system regarding environmental destruction. It is also pregnant with the promise of transforming existing law and offers a welcome, cathartic contribution to the burgeoning field of Earth jurisprudence.

Read the full article at Finally Being Heard: The Great Barrier Reef and the International Rights of Nature Tribunal.

*Michelle Maloney is the National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance and is also currently working at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry University Law School, Florida USA. She can be contacted on convenor@earthlaws.org.au.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima Dec 5-6

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR THE RIGHTS OF NATURE
NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Natalia Greene +593 (0) 99944-3724/nati.greene@gmail.com
Robin R. Milam +1.530.263-1483/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL
Lima, Peru, December 5-6, 2014

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RIGHTS OF NATURE
COMMITS TO DEEPEN AND EXPAND THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT

As the world looks to Lima, Peru for the 20th UN COP on Climate Change, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal will convene in Lima. The Tribunal will hear twelve international cases that are aligned with UNFCCC COP 20 priorities. What is unique to this hearing is that each case will be reviewed within a framework based on Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

“We the people assume the authority to conduct an International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction which violate the Rights of Nature.” Prosecutor for the Earth, Ramiro Avila declared during the opening of the world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature on Friday January 17, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

The diverse international panel of judges on the Tribunal in Lima includes:

Alberto Acosta, Tribunal’s President, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador

Verónica Mendoza, Peru Congress member, representative of the region of Cusco.

Raúl Prada Alcoreza, Philosopher, sociologist, author, former member of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly of 2006-2007, Bolivia

Hugo Blanco director of the monthly publication “Lucha Indígena”, Perú.

Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) and activist from the Tar Sands of Canada.

Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador.

Edgardo Lander, sociologist, professor, from Venezuela.

Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from MN, USA

Anibal Quijano, sociologist and humanist thinker. Professor of critical theory, Perú.

Francios Houtart, professor, philosopher, theologian, member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, Belgium.

Osprey Orielle Lake, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, USA.

Rocío Silva Santiesteban, National Human Rights Coordinator, author, professor, Perú

Atossa Soltani, founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, USA

Terisa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist, Canada

Ramiro Ávila, environmental attorney from Ecuador serves as the Prosecutor for the Earth.

Natalia Greene and Robin Milam, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, serve as Secretariat.

The cases and lead presenters include:

Climate Change and False Solutions Pablo Solón, Bolivia: Nnimmo Bassey, Nigeria

BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Esperanza Martínez, Ecuador

Hydraulic Fracking Shannon Biggs, United States; Martin Vilela, Bolivia

Chevron/Texaco Oil Devastation Pablo Fajardo, Julio Prieto, Ecuador;

Yasuní-ITT Oil Development Elena Galvez, Yasunidos, Ecuador

Great Barrier Reef Michelle Maloney, Australia

4 River Basins, Corrientes Peru Jose Fachin, Sarah Kerremans, Peru​​

Belo Monte Dam Leila Salazar-López, Sônia Guájajara, Brasil

Bagua Defenders of Earth Ismael Vega, Zebelio Kapap, Perú

Conga-Cajamarca Mine Milton Sanchez, Marco Arana, Máxima Chaupe, Perú

Forests and REDD+ Ivonne Yanez, Casandra Smithie,

Condor Mine Open Pit Copper Domingo Ankuash, Ecuador

Indigenous rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, USA) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sarayaku, will provide expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature.

“What will happen if the temperature increases more than 2 °C? “A third of the population of animals and more than half of the plants on Earth could disappear.” Listing violations to the Rights of Mother Earth related to climate change, Pablo Solon went on to add, “We need a new system of harmony between human beings and Mother Earth that replaces the capitalist system of infinite growth for the accumulation of capital.”

The International Tribunal will be held at the Gran Hotel Bolivar on Plaza San Martín, Jirón de La Unión 958, in the historic district of Lima. The Public is invited to attend free of charge. The Tribunal begins at 8:30am and concludes at 19:00 on Friday December 5 and Saturday December 6, 2014. Six cases will be heard with closing responses from the Tribunal judges each day.

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was founded at a gathering in Ecuador in 2010, two years after Ecuador became the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution and Bolivia passed its Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. Across the United States dozens of communities have adopted local rights of nature laws within the framework of a Community Bill of Rights in recent years.
The Rights of Nature movement draws on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous peoples in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.
More information available at https://therightsofnature.org/lima-2014-tribunal/
In Spanish at https://therightsofnature.org/tribunal-internacional-derechos-de-la-naturaleza/

First Global Tribunal on Rights of Nature hears 9 cases

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Robin R. Milam
1.530.272.4322/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal 

FIRST WORLD TRIBUNAL ON RIGHTS OF NATURE
HEARS NINE CASES FOR ADMISSIBILITY

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RIGHTS OF NATURE
COMMITS TO DEEPEN AND EXPAND THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
QUITO, ECUADOR

The world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature is being held in Quito, Ecuador, today. Headed by Vandana Shiva, physicist and internationally renowned environmental activist, this “Seed” Tribunal is hearing nine cases to determine their admissibility for adjudication at a later Tribunal, which will be held in another city and country later this year. The Tribunal for Rights of Nature will become permanent, hearing cases around the world.

The cases and the persons presenting the factual arguments for admitting them for adjudication under Rights of Nature are:

British Petroleum (BP)       Esperanza Martínez, Ecuador

Hydrofracking                         Shannon Biggs, United States

Chevron/Texaco                      Julio Prieto, Ecuador

Yasuní-ITT                                 Carlos Larrea, Ecuador

Great Barrier Reef                 Michelle Maloney, Australia

Minería Condor Mirador     Nathaly Yépez, Ecuador

GMOs                                            Elizabeth Bravo, Ecuador

Climate Change                        Pablo Solón, Bolivia

Defenders of Nature             Carlos Perez Guartambel, Ecuador

The international panel of judges sitting on the Tribunal includes:

Alberto Acosta, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador

Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) from the Tar Sands of Canada

Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador

Cormac Cullinan, lawyer and author (Wild Law), Earth Democracy Coop, Cape Town, South Africa

Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from Minnesota, US

Julio César Trujillo, constitutional lawyer for Yasunidos from Quito, Ecuador

Elsie Monge, human rights activist and president of CEDHU y FIDH from Quito, Ecuador

Atossa Soltani, founder and director of Amazon Watch from Washington, DC, US

Enrique Viale, environmental lawyer from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Native rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, US) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sayaku, will provide expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature. Carlos Pérez will provide testimony as to his recent actions in defense of Mother Earth, the reasons for his actions and its consequences.

The Tribunal begins at 8:30 and concludes at 17:00. Before rendering her judgment at the end of the day, Vandana Shiva will speak to the issues at stake in this Tribunal and the worldwide Rights of Nature movement.

The Tribunal marks the end of a five-day summit of more than 60 global leaders of the Rights of Nature movement who form part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. The participants hail from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, and the United Kingdom, as well as Ecuador.

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was founded at a gathering in Ecuador in 2010, two years after Ecuador became the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution. At the summit, the leaders committed to redoubling their efforts to broaden and deepen the movement worldwide over the coming year, with a series of actions that will be detailed in the next months.

The Rights of Nature movement draws on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous peoples in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

Printable PDF of News Release

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Australian Earth Laws Alliance Updates

Australian Wild Law Alliance (AWLA) announces that as of 22nd July they have changed to the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA)Australian Earth Laws AllianceAELA’s new logo was created by designer Skeet Booth.  The human fingerprint embedded in the leaf is a lovely symbol of our interconnectedness with the non-human world.

AELA’s new website and contact details
  1. AELA’s website has been updated, including a smooth transition to their new domain name: http://www.earthlaws.org.au
  2. All of email addresses have been updated – you’ll see the Convenor address has been changed to convenor@earthlaws.org.au
  3. Their facebook page has also been updated, but the link details remain the same – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Earth-Laws-Alliance/250157398335531

To learn more about why the name change visit AELA’s facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/174249409411306/

Wild Law 2013 Conference: Call for Papers closes this Wednesday, 31 July

If you’d like give a presentation or host a discussion group at this year’s Wild Law Conference, please send us your abstract by 5pm this Wednesday, 31 July. Details about submitting an abstract can be found here: http://www.earthlaws.org.au/wildlaw-conference-2013-brisbane/call-for-papers/

New workshop series – “Exploring Community and Nature’s Rights” –
with CELDF (Community Environmental Legal Defence Fund, USA)
30 September to 4 October 2013

AELA is pleased to provide an update on a workshop and public lecture series which they are hosting in partnership with CELDF from the USA.  The workshops will explore different approaches to protecting the rights of local communities and the rights of nature.  Further information will be uploaded next week to: http://www.earthlaws.org.au/events/

The workshop schedule is as follows:

Brisbane, Monday September 30th – This workshop will feature Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil from the USA’s Community Environmental Legal Defence Fund (CELDF); Nati Green from Ecuador’s Fundacion Pachamama, Drew Hutton and Annie Kia from the Lock the Gate Alliance and Aidan Ricketts, Southern Cross University and author of the Community Activists Handbook. It will be held at the EcoCentre, Griffith University, from 9.30 to 4.30pm.

Melbourne, Wednesday 2nd October– hosted by the Environmental Defender’s Office, Victoria.  Details will be available soon!

Western Australia –  Margaret River and Perth, 3rd to 5th October.  A series of workshops and public lectures will be held in Margaret River and Perth from Thursday 3rd August to Saturday 5th August.  These events are being co-hosted by Eco-Logik International, the Conservation Council of Western Australia and the University of Western Australia.  More details soon!

Upcoming Events

  • 3rd August.  AWLA’s National Convenor, Michelle Maloney, will be giving a presentation about Earth Laws and the Rights of Nature movement at the Bellingen ‘Festival of Ideas: Water, Lands, Wildlife, Forests”, to be held from 1pm at the Bellingen Memorial Hall, on Saturday 3rd August (this weekend). For more information please contact Caroline Joseph: caroj2@bigpond.com
  • 27-29 September – AWLA’s Conference, Brisbane – http://www.earthlaws.org.au/wildlaw-conference-2013-brisbane/
  • 30 September – 5 October – “Exploring Community and Nature’s Rights”, Workshop and Seminar Series with the USA’s Community Environmental Legal Defence Fund (www.celdf.org ) – Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.  For more information – watch our website! http://www.earthlaws.org.au/events/
  • 5-6 December – Environmental Justice Symposium, Brisbane – more information will be available soon on our website

Sydney Wild Law Events: 1st, 2nd & 4th May

Australian WildLaw Alliance

AWLA is pleased to announce a series of Wild Law seminars and workshops in Sydney from 1st to 4th May.  Information is set out below and can also be found on the Events page of our website.  Please circulate to your networks.

Don’t forget to visit our website for more information, and like our facebook page to stay in touch – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Wild-Law-Alliance/250157398335531?ref=hl

All the best,
Michelle Maloney
National Convenor
 

Call for Papers – Australian Wild Law 2013

2013 Australian Wild Law Alliance

“Living within our ecological limits:
law and governance to nurture the Earth Community”

27-29 September 2013, Ian Hangar Recital Hall,

Southbank, Brisbane – Australia

Wild Law Australia Call for Papers

For a copy of our ‘Call for Papers’ flyer, please click here.

From 27-29 September 2013 the Australian Wild Law Alliance will host a multi-disciplinary conference aimed at exploring key questions for living within our ecological limits:

  • How do we know our ecological limits? And how do we know our place in Mother Earth?
    What can we learn from science, ethics, indigenous knowledge and spiritual connections to country?
  • What legal and governance mechanisms can help us live within our limits?
    What concepts and tools exist in economics, planning, law and other disciplines, that can help guide our efforts to live within our ecological limits?         
  • How do we change our current economic, political and legal systems to create human societies that live in a harmonious relationship with the Earth community?
    For example, what role can ‘rights of nature’ legislation play in shifting human societies towards an earth-centred world view and governance culture? What is the role of civil society in changing traditional power structures?

Papers are invited from academics, regulators, civil society organisations and activists who are interested in these topics.  The Conference organisers particularly encourage proposals for multi-disciplinary panels (for example three speakers for one session, from different disciplines), as well as proposals for working groups and round tables that address these topics.

For more information on the Australian Wild Law Conference visit http://www.wildlaw.org.au/wildlaw-conference-2013-brisbane/

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT:

Please email your

  • 250 to 300 word abstract, and
  • 100 word speaker biography

To our email address: conference2013@wildlaw.org.au  by 30th June

Please type ‘ABSTRACT’ in your email title.

Environmental Protection and Limits of Rights Talk

For complete article visit Environmental Protection and the Limits of Rights Talk from Right Now – Human Rights in Australia

Peter Burdon, Adelaide School of Lawby Peter Burdon  — Excerpts of original article

There is a long history in environmental studies of locating and developing methods to combat the “root causes” of the current environmental crisis. Canadian philosopher John Livingston explains this approach, noting: “Oil spills, endangered species, ozone depletion and so forth are presented as separate incidents and the overwhelming nature of these events means that we seldom look deeper.” “However” Livingston argues, “these issues are analogous to the tip of an iceberg, they are simply the visible portion of a much larger entity, most of which lies beneath the surface, beyond our daily inspection.”

Human beings exploit the environment because they conceive it as existing for their own personal use and benefit

The rights of nature: an alternative approach?

The recent history of rights of nature advocacy is stunning and cannot be described in full here. Nearly 30 municipalities in the United States have drafted and adopted municipal ordinances to help protect local ecosystems from industries such as coal mining, water bottling and gas drilling (fracking). For example, in 2008 the township of Barnstead, New Hampshire adopted an ordinance that reads: “Natural communities and ecosystems possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist and flourish within the Town of Barnstead.” These developments were mirrored at the level of constitutional law in the Republic of Ecuador, which in 2008 adopted a new constitution. Article one of the Constitution reads:

Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms.

These developments have led to the pronouncement of a wide variety of ethical and legal approaches including: legally enforceable rights for nature (as envisaged in the legislation above); so-called “biotic rights” (being moral imperatives which are not legally enforceable); moral “responsibilities” for human beings; and “rightness” (a norm which prescribes a need for a proper healthy relationship between humanity and nature). What is common to each is an attempt to give concrete and meaningful recognition to the intrinsic value of nature.

For a related article, visit What if trees could sue? by Peter Burdon at ABC Environment