The Rights of Nature: A Legal Revolution that could save the world (2017, ECW Press). 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.

Ecological Governance O Woolley thumbnailEcological Governance: Reappraising Law’s Role in Protecting Ecosystem Functionality (2014, Cambridge University Press, UK). 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. See here for an Earth Law Alliance article about the book.

Wild Law in PracticeWild Law in Practice (March 2014, Routledge). Edited by Earth Law Alliance member Peter Burdon and Advisory Group member 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 PhilosophyEnvironmental Ethics small thumbnail (5th Ed, 2013, 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.

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Earth is Our Business: Changing the Rules of the Game (2012, Shepheard-Walwyn, London, UK). By Earth Law Alliance member Polly Higgins. Earth is our Business takes forward the argument of Polly’s first book, Eradicating Ecocide. It proposes new Earth law as well as advocating a new form of leadership which places the health and well-being of people and planet first. Polly Higgins shows how law can provide the tools and be a bridge to a new way of doing business. She argues that Earth is the business of us all, not the exclusive preserve of the executives of the world’s top corporations. Expanding on the proposal in her first book to make Ecocide an international crime, this book sets out the institutional framework for sustainable development and international environmental governance. It proposes new rules of the game to transform our economies, energy supplies and political landscape in a radical, but practical, way.

Exploring Wild Law JPegExploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence (2011, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, Australia). Edited by Earth Law Alliance member 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.


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Wild Law – A Manifesto for Earth Justice (2nd Ed. 2011, Green Books, Devon, UK. First published in 2002). Earth Law Alliance Advisory Group member 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.

Should Trees thumbnail smallShould Trees Have Standing: Law, Morality and the Environment (2010, Oxford University Press). By Christopher D. Stone. Originally published in 1972, Should Trees Have Standing? was a rallying point for the then burgeoning environmental movement, launching a worldwide debate on the basic nature of legal rights that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in the 35th anniversary edition of this remarkably influential book, Christopher D. Stone updates his original thesis and explores the impact his ideas have had on the courts, the academy, and society as a whole. At the heart of the book is an eminently sensible, legally sound, and compelling argument that the environment should be granted legal rights. For the new edition, Stone examines a variety of recent cases and current events—and related topics such as climate change and protecting the oceans—and explores why trees, oceans, animals, and the environment as a whole should be bestowed with legal rights.