Rights of Communities, Rights of Nature: a new conversation on law and ecology with Dr Peter Doran, QUB Law, and Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, United States
Associate Director of CELDF Mari Margil and Executive Director of CELDF Thomas Linzey join Peter Doran in a wide ranging discussion on an emerging new paradigm in environmental law, linking the rights of communities to the rights of nature.
As the limits and systemic failures of environmental protection and governance become all too apparent across the island of Ireland, this timely conversation examines the limits of conventional environmental law approaches, explores the role of communities in resisting the collusion of state and corporate authorities in the despoliation of our common environmental heritage, and the increasing acknowledgement of nature as a rights-bearing subject worthy of our deepest respect and cooperation. The conversation also touches on new challenges for the legal profession and law schools in the context of systemic failures to equip communities and professionals with the means to resist ongoing ecosystem collapse.
In an era where governmental institutions are unable to confront growing environmental crises, Linzey and Margil talk about a new people’s movement emerging in the United States and beyond, to forge a new system of law that enables people to protect their communities and nature by rejecting certain harmful corporate projects. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a U.S.-based community organizing organization and law firm, is pioneering this movement toward “community rights” and the “rights of nature.”
Across the U.S. and around the globe, CELDF is working with communities and national governments to recognize the rights of ecosystems in law, and to stop fracking, factory farms, and other threats. CELDF’s senior legal counsel and co-founder Thomas Linzey, and associate director Mari Margil, will share stories from the frontlines: why U.S. municipal communities began to revolt against a system of law that elevates corporate “rights” and centralized governmental control over the rights of people and nature; how community rights and rights of nature laws were first enacted by U.S. communities; how Ecuador became the first country in the world to enshrine the rights of nature in its constitution; and how in countries from India to Colombia, from Nepal and Mexico, there is a growing movement to protect not only the human right to a healthy environment, but the rights of the environment itself.
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund: https://celdf.org/Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash