Should rivers and forests have rights of their own?

A free Seminar with presentations and discussion about Earth laws, the rights of nature and how best to protect our natural ecosystems.

More than forty years ago the idea was proposed that nature should have its own rights, enforceable in the courts, rather than solely people whose personal or corporate interests were affected being able to enforce environmental laws against polluters or others damaging the environment. At that time, the idea of ‘rights for nature’ was unheard of. Now it remains quite radical but it is an idea with resonance in the real world.

Famously, the Ecuadorian Constitution includes recognition of of the legal personality of Nature.

Recently, in New Zealand, Waitangi Treaty settlement process over the Whanganui River have included measures to recognise a legal personality in the river and establish a form of ‘guardian’ to protect its environmental status and interests.

These types of developments have not received such recognition in Australia.


The Australian Earth Laws Alliance is running a free seminar on how the principles of ‘rights for rivers’ or ‘rights for forests’ might apply here.

Should rivers and forests have legal rights?

Thursday 6 November 2014 6pm – 8pm

Speakers include:

  • Michelle Maloney – AELA
  • Bruce Lindsay – Environmental Justice Australia’s
  • Erin O’Donnell – Melbourne Law School,
  • Juliet Le Feuvre, Rivers campaigner – Environment Victoria.

RMIT Building 13, Ethel Osborne Room (Room 13.3.9), Corner Russell and Victoria Streets, Melbourne

This seminar is free but bookings are essential. Please register at: http://trybooking.com/GCTD

Further details can be found at the Earth Laws website.

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