Law of Nature? New Perspectives on Legal Action for the Environment

How can law be used in today's environmental struggles?

Photo: Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash

Photo: Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash

Welcome to the Arne Næss Chair 10th Anniversary Seminar.

With his famous 1972 essay, "Should Trees Have Standing?", the lawyer Christopher D. Stone opened a legal and philosophical debate about the legal rights of nature. For a long time, this discussion remained academic, but now, in the age of the Anthropocene, there has been an upsurge of environmental activism that takes the law (and the courts) as its main instrument.

Climate lawsuits are in process or underway in countries such as the Philippines, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Norway. In many of these cases, lawyers, NGOs, researchers, activists, and others claim that the state has broken its own Penal Code – and hence the rule of order – regarding the preservation of nature.

The theme of this interdisciplinary seminar is how law is now being used as a moral, political, and strategic tool in the fight for the rights of nature. Featuring talks from scholars of English/literature, science and technology studies, and human geography, we invite you to take part in the discussion about how law is – and can be – used in the environmental struggles of our day.

Programme

09:30–10:00

Registration and coffee

10:00–10:15

Welcome and introduction by organizers

10:15–11:00

Ursula K. Heise (UCLA) – The Legal Lives of Endangered Species

11:00–11:15

Coffee break

11:15–11:45

Synneva Geithus Laastad (UiO) – Nature as a Subject of Rights: A Discourse Analysis on Ecuador’s Constitutional Rights of Nature

11:45–12:45

Lunch break

12:45–13:30

Susan McHugh (UNE) – Animist Law? Indigenous Narratives of Human–Animal–Environmental Justice

13:30–13:45

Coffee break

13:45–14:15

Bård Lahn (CICERO) – In Search of a ‘Fixed Point’: The Role of Science in Climate Change Law and Politics

14:15–14:30

Summary by organizers

This seminar is part of the Arne Næss Anniversary Seminar.

 

Published Oct. 3, 2017 2:00 PM - Last modified Oct. 4, 2017 10:56 AM