Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 5 pm (CEST)
Online event - via Zoom
Vito De Lucia, Professor of International Law at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and full member of the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS).
The event is open to the public.
Registration is required.
Environmental law, while achieving many discrete successes, seems unable to address at root the key drivers of environmental degradation. As Anna Grear observed, indeed environmental law sems unable to make any difference that “really counts”. In this context, the idea of rights of nature, first outlined by Christopher Stone in his 1972 seminal law review article “Should trees have standing?”, has now gained significant discursive and substantive traction. Rights of nature have been enshrined in many domestic jurisdictions, have been addressed by several courts and tribunals, and have been recognized internationally, for example through the United Nations “Harmony with Nature” initiative and the EU initiative towards a Fundamental Charter on Rights of Nature. Combining indigenous cosmologies and western legal structures, a rights of nature approach promises to overcome the key shortcomings of legal modernity such as the ontological and legal distinction between subject and object and the anthropocentric value framework that it supports. Recognizing legal subjectivity to natural entities is presented thus as a paradigm shift that, reimagining the relationship between humans and nature, will ensure nature is no longer treated, in law, as an object of exploitation, but as a living domain worthy of protection in light of its intrinsic value. Rights of nature, it is often suggested will help law make a difference that really counts. This paper, taking its cue from the Foucauldian notion of “problematization”, will problematize, as it were, the idea of rights of nature on a number of legal philosophical and legal technical grounds and canvas ways to strengthen the rights of nature approach as well as alternative trajectories.
Vito De Lucia is Professor of International Law at the faculty of Law, UiT The Arctic University of Norway and full member of the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS). His most immediate research interests are located at the intersection of critical theory, international law and ecology. His current research agenda focuses on ocean commons, on the ongoing
negotiations towards a global treaty on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, where he has been observer since 2016, and on Arctic governance. He is author of The Ecosystem Approach in International Environmental law. Genealogy and Biopolitics (Routledge, 2019)