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What is Wild Law? Should ‘other than human’ natural entities have rights? Simon Boyle Melanie Strickland UKELA Wild Law PowerPoint Presentation
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What is Wild Law? Should ‘other than human’ natural entities have rights? Simon Boyle Melanie Strickland UKELA Wild Law

What is Wild Law? Should ‘other than human’ natural entities have rights? Simon Boyle Melanie Strickland UKELA Wild Law

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What is Wild Law? Should ‘other than human’ natural entities have rights? Simon Boyle Melanie Strickland UKELA Wild Law

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  1. What is Wild Law? Should ‘other than human’ natural entities have rights? Simon Boyle Melanie Strickland UKELA Wild Law Special Interest Group 5 July 2009

  2. What is wild law? • ‘Wild law’ coined by Cormac Cullinan – book Wild Law • Human laws which are consistent with Earth Jurisprudence • Laws which have primary aim to maintain the integrity and functioning of the whole Earth Community in the long term, over the interests of any species (including humans) at a particular time

  3. What is wild law? • Wild Law essentially about humans relationship with the natural world • The current relationship which industrialised nations have with the natural world is that of dominance and control • This reflected in the language we use, e.g. resources, reserves, stocks, property, stewardship, management • This relationship is fundamentally flawed and has resulted in the environmental degradation of the planet • Issues such as climate change are the symptoms of the current relationship

  4. What is wild law? • In contrast Wild Law recognises that all life is interconnected, that man is not superior to other forms of life just as one part of our body is not superior to any other part • So Wild Law uses a different language from current law • Earth community • Mutuality • Respect • Love • ‘The universe is not a collection of objects but rather a communion of subjects’ – Thomas Berry • Relationship of the dance rather than the watch

  5. Facts • ‘Proof’ that current system is failing is shown by current extinction rate 1,000-10,000 x the ‘normal’ rate • 2.7-270 (best estimate) species a day lost • Sixth mass extinction • IPCC 40% of all surviving species now face extinction thorough global temperature increases- over 2.5 degrees c • Ed Wilson- at present rate half of all species extinct by 2100

  6. Species Extinction • The background level of extinction known from the fossil record is approx one species per million species per year, or between 10 and 100 species per year (counting all organisms such as insects, bacteria and fungi) • In contrast, estimates based on the rate at which the area of tropical forests is being reduced, and their large numbers of specialized species, are that we may now be losing 27,000 species per year to extinction from those habitats alone. (Average 75 per day)

  7. System Failure • Current legal system designed to support the extractive economy which is destroying life on earth • Need for a relationship with the Earth which is underpinned by a complementary legal system, Wild Law • Wild Law recognises the inherent rights of the Earth Community

  8. The Evolving Concept of Rights • Not so long ago various ‘classes’ were either not given any rights or did not enjoy full legal status • In Roman Law the father had power of life and death over his children

  9. The Evolving Concept of Rights • Women could not own land absolutely in UK until 1840s or had full voting rights until 1928

  10. The Evolving Concept of Rights • Concept of slavery – humans called slaves had no rights and considered property • Romans brought and sold slaves at public auctions • Slavery not abolished in US until 1865

  11. The Evolving Concept of Rights • Certain races have also been denied rights • US racial discrimination against African–Americans until 1964 Civil Rights Act • South Africa – apartheid abolished 1994

  12. Recognition of Rights of Inanimate • Objects • Ships have legal rights

  13. Recognition of Rights of Inanimate • Objects • Companies have legal status

  14. Recognition of Rights of Other Species • Albert Einstein • A human being is part of a whole, called by us a universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical delusion of the consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us… Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

  15. Recognition of Rights of Other Species • Christopher Stone • ‘It is not inevitable, nor is it wise, that natural objects should have no rights to seek redress on their own behalf. It is no answer to say that streams and forests cannot speak. Corporations cannot speak either…’

  16. Recognition of Rights of Other Species • The Hominidae family - humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans • Chimpanzee are thought to have split from human evolution about 6 million years ago - nearest relative to humans

  17. Recognition of Rights of Other Species

  18. Recognition of Rights of Other Species

  19. Recognition of Rights of Other Species • Considered one of planet’s most intelligent animals

  20. Recognition of Rights of Other Species

  21. Recognition of Rights of Other Species

  22. Recognition of Rights of Other Species Christopher Stone – Should Trees Have Standing?

  23. Recognition of Rights of Ecosystems

  24. Recognition of Rights of Future • Generations • Christopher Stone - Should we Establish a Guardian for Future Generations?

  25. What are these rights? • Thomas Berry- Evening Thoughts • Every component of the Earth Community has three rights: • The right to be • The right to habitat • The right to fulfil its role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth community

  26. What are these rights? • All rights are limited and exist within the context of relationships • The rights they have different qualities- e.g. a chimpanzee would have different right from say a bee • Wild Law acknowledges the biological reality of these relationship, often symbiotic or through the foodchain

  27. UKELA and Wild Law • Since 2005 UKELA has held a Wild Law conference or weekend workshop • Speakers have included Cormac Cullinan, Andy Kimbrell, Michael Meacher, Norman Baker, Jacqui McGlade, Prof. Bob Lee • Papers from each of these events have been published in Environmental Law & Management

  28. UKELA and Wild Law • In March 2009, a major research project was published: • Wild Law: Is there any evidence of Earth Jurisprudence in Existing Law and Practice • Authors Begonia Filgueira and Ian Mason • Research Supervisor Prof. Lynda Warren

  29. UKELA and Wild Law • In early 2009 UKELA Wild Law Special Interest Group formed • Wild Law education group formed- Cathy Laurence • Wild Law workshop 25-27 September 2009, Somerset - still places! • Wild Law Scotland, Loch Ossian, Eco-Hostel on Rannoch Moor May 2010- Steve Perry , Sir Crispin Agnew

  30. Other ‘Wild Lawyers’ • UKELA works closely with the Gaia Association on all Wild Law projects • The Gaia Association are building an Earth Jurisprudence Centre – an electronic database of publications and materials • Polly Higgins of EnAct International and Trees Have Rights Too has drafted a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights • Polly has just returned from Tallberg and is working with UN delegates to have this formally considered by the UN

  31. How would you like our planet be like in 100 years ?

  32. A Final Thought • Madness is something rare in individuals- but in groups, parties, people, ages it is the rule • Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil