This is a book for students and practicing lawyers who seek to preserve a habitable planet and question whether current environmental law is sufficient for the task. It is thefirst legal coursebook comprehensively addressing ecocentric law and jurisprudence Thorough exploration of critical, rapidly evolving topics such as rights of future generations, atmospheric trust litigation, the public trust doctrine, ecocide, the climate necessity defense, Indigenous legalities, and rights of nature laws in their many forms Expansive examination of the settings in which Earth law is developing and the principles of Earth jurisprudence on which it is based A penetrating critique of environmental law frameworks developed since the 1970s. Practical and theoretical foundations for developing systems of ecological governance and the ethical responsibilities of lawyers, individually and collectively Accumulated knowledge, experience, and perspective of more than 20 authors and editors active in the field Practical tools for the Earth law practitioner's toolbox.
Ecological Integrity, Law and Governance
Ecological integrity is concerned with protecting the planet in a holistic way, while respecting ethics and human rights. Over recent years it has been introduced directly and indirectly in several legal regimes, culminating in international law with the 2016 expanded remit of the International Criminal Court, which now includes "environmental disasters". This book celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), which includes more than 250 scholars and independent researchers worldwide, from diverse disciplines, including ecology, biology, philosophy, epidemiology, public health, ecological economics, and international law. It reviews the role of ecological integrity across a number of fields through inter- and trans-disciplinary engagement on matters affecting and governing the sustainability of life for both present and future generations. These include, ethics, environmental disasters, crimes against humanity and environmental health, and how such issues can be subject to sound governance and be incorporated into international law. The book also looks forward to new applications of the concept of ecological integrity, such as crimes that result in the exploitation of natural resources and the illegal dispossession of land.
Presenting new thinking in the field, this book focuses on problem areas of contemporary law including environmental law, property law, trusts, legal theory and First Nations law and explains how ecological law provides solutions. Written by ecological law experts, it does this by 1) providing an overview of shortcomings of environmental law and other areas of contemporary law, 2) presenting specific examples of these shortcomings, 3) explaining what ecological law is and how it provides solutions to the shortcomings of contemporary law, and 4) showing how society can overcome some key challenges in the transition to ecological law.
This book is a collection of judgments drawn from the innovative Wild Law Judgment Project. In participating in the Wild Law Judgment Project, which was inspired by various feminist judgment projects, contributors have creatively reinterpreted judicial decisions from an Earth-centred point of view by rewriting existing judgments, or creating fictional judgments, as wild law. Authors have confronted the specific challenges of aligning existing Western legal systems with Thomas Berry’s philosophy of Earth jurisprudence through judgment writing and rewriting. This book thus opens up judicial decision-making and the common law to critical scrutiny from a wild law or Earth-centred perspective. Based upon ecocentric rather than human-centred or anthropocentric principles, Earth jurisprudence poses a unique critical challenge to the dominant anthropocentric or human-centred focus and orientation of the common law. The authors interrogate the anthropocentric and property rights assumptions embedded in existing common law by placing Earth and the greater community of life at the centre of their rewritten and hypothetical judgments. Covering areas as diverse as tort law, intellectual property law, criminal law, environmental law, administrative law, international law, native title law and constitutional law, this unique collection provides a valuable tool for practitioners and students who are interested in learning more about the emerging ecological jurisprudence movement. It helps us to see more clearly what a new system of law might look like: one in which Earth really matters.
David Boyd's most recent work sets out a vivid and compelling landscape for legal change.
“This is a real-life legal thriller. Imagine constitutions and laws acknowledging that rivers and ecosystems have rights and cannot be owned by humans. Envision judges recognizing that sentient animals are ‘legal persons’ and should no longer be regarded as property. Leading environmental lawyer David Boyd takes us on a trip around the world to look at these stunning shifts in humanity's relationship with nature. A pioneering work.” ― David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster.
“David Boyd's new book explores one of the most ground-breaking legal ideas of our time. His stories about courageous people, remarkable laws, visionary lawsuits, and precedent setting court decisions are inspiring and welcome.” ― Devon Page, Executive Director, Ecojustice.
The idea of human dominion over nature has become entrenched by the dominant rights-based interpretation of private property. Accordingly, nature is not attributed any inherent value and becomes merely the matter of a human property relationship. Earth Jurisprudence: Private Property and the Environment explores how an alternative conception of property might be instead grounded in the ecocentric concept of an Earth community. Recognising that human beings are deeply interconnected with and dependent on nature, this concept is proposed as a standard and measure for human law. This book argues that the anthropocentric institution of private property needs to be reconceived; drawing on international case law, indigenous views of property and the land use practices of agrarian communities, Peter Burdon considers how private property can be reformulated in a way that fosters duties towards nature. Using the theory of earth jurisprudence as a guide, he outlines an alternative ecocentric description of private property as a relationship between and among members of the Earth community. This book will appeal to those researching in law, justice and ecology, as well as anyone pursuing an interest more particularly in earth jurisprudence.
Ecological Governance: Reappraising Law's Role in Protecting Ecosystem Functionality
(2014, Cambridge University Press)
Ecological degradation has been an object of concern for the international community since the early 1970s, but legal approaches that have been employed to improve the protection of ecosystems have failed to halt this decline. Ecological Governance explores how the law should respond to this rapid global deterioration of ecosystems by examining the foundational scientific and ethical considerations for designing laws that are effective for ecological protection. Based on these analyses, it argues that developed states should prioritise the reduction of the ecological stresses for which they are responsible in decision-making on their future courses. Olivia Woolley also proposes structures for governance and associated legal frameworks that would enable the formulation and implementation of policies for ecological sustainability.
Edited by Peter Burdon and Michelle Maloney. Addressing topics that include a critique of the effectiveness of environmental law in protecting the environment, developments in domestic/constitutional law recognising the rights of nature, and the regulation of sustainability, Wild Law - In Practice is the first book to focus specifically on the practical legal implications of Earth Jurisprudence.
Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy
(5th Ed, 2012, Wadsworth, Boston, MA/Cengage Learning)
Joseph R. Desjardins' highly accessible text begins with two introductory chapters discussing various historical approaches to moral decision-making, including natural law, utilitarianism and deontological ethics. Later chapters cover philosophical approaches to issues such as managing public lands, sustainability and responsibility to the future, anthropocentric and biocentric ethics and the inherent value of life, land ethics, deep ecology, ecofeminism, environmental justice and social equality. Each chapter starts with a case study on a controversial environmental issue of our time, and ends with discussion questions in order to assist further reflection and engagement with the subject. Highly readable and enjoyable, Environmental Ethics provides a surprisingly in-depth introduction to the underlying moral and ethical viewpoints that influence politicians, policy-makers and environmentalists.
Exploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence
(2011, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, Australia)
Edited by Peter Burdon. Wild law is a groundbreaking approach to law that stresses human dependence on nature. This volume brings together voices from the leading proponents of wild law around the world. It introduces readers to the idea of wild law and considers its relationship to environmental law, the rights of nature, science, religion, property law and international governance.
Cormac Cullinan shows that the survival of the community of life on Earth (including humans) requires us to alter fundamentally our understanding of the nature and purpose of law and governance, rather than merely to change laws. In describing what this new 'Earth governance' and 'Earth jurisprudence' might look like, he also gives practical guidance on how to begin moving towards it.
In Eradicating Ecocide, international environment lawyer and Ecocide law expert, the late Polly Higgins sets out to demonstrate how our planet is fast being destroyed by the activities of corporations and governments, facilitated by 'compromise' laws that offer insufficient deterrence. She offers a solution that is radical yet pragmatic, and, as she explains, necessary. This is the first book to examine the power of law to change everything. Higgins provides context by presenting examples of laws in other countries and in earlier times in history which have succeeded in curtailing the power of governments, corporations and banks, and have triggered change. Eradicating Ecocide is a crash course on what laws work, what doesn't and what else is required to prevent the ever escalating destruction. Eradicating Ecocide provides a comprehensive overview of what is required in law in order to prevent ecocide. It is a book unlike any other; based on the principle of 'first do no harm', it applies equally to global as well as smaller communities and anyone who is involved in decision-making.