Tribunal for the Rights of Nature

12 January 2016
"We need a new, positive manifesto to enable us to create ecologically sustainable human societies on earth. This is not something that can be achieved by simply thinking up another human-centred ideology. The necessary unity, and the liberation of the combined creativity of millions of like-minded people, will only be achieved by acknowledging that we are a part of a greater whole, and must live and organise our societies in a manner that contributes to the health of the planetary whole."
Wild Law 2011

Cormac Cullinan, environmental lawyer, activist and author of Wild Law is leading the world to a new relationship with the earth. Right now, in Paris the International Tribunal For The Rights of Nature will be formally established and will hear a wide range of cases covering  mega-dams in the Amazon, mining, oil and gas exploitation, genetically modified organisms, responses to climate change that further commodify Nature  and attacks on those who defend Earth.

The Tribunal judges are highly experienced and respected individuals from around the globe and include representation from indigenous groups. They make their judgements based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth (“the Earth Rights Declaration”) which was adopted on 22 April 2010. Cormac will be presiding as Judge President of the Tribunal at the COP21 hearings.

Cormac’s extensive experience in defending community and environmental rights ensures his ability to lead the call for social and environmental justice toward a new relationship with the earth and all who live on it.

As history was defined by the creation of human rights, it is now imperative to understand that these hard fought for rights have no validity if the Earth has no rights. People cannot be divorced from their environment and the impacts against the natural world are by implication negative impacts against humanity. This is why the Tribunal will be the ultimate game changer and will set the scene for a new system, with new values, recognising the interconnectedness of humans and our environment.  “The right to life is an empty slogan without food and water, which can only be provided by Earth ”.

It is time for transformation of the systems and structures of industrialised societies in order for us to re-discover our real place within the natural system.

What is particularly significant on this occasion is that the establishment of the Tribunal is being formalised by the signature of a Peoples’ Convention. The governments of the world have consistently failed to agree on, and take the measures necessary to maintain the health of Earth and to protect the rights of current and future generations.  Organisations and communities from around the world are now stepping in to fill the leadership vacuum by entering into people’s agreements to establish innovative new international institutions such as the Tribunal which can pioneer a new way forward.  The Tribunal bases its decisions on what is in the best interests of the whole community of life instead of in the interest of a tiny minority of people.  The decisions are focussed on what those responsible for harming ecological systems and people must do to rectify that harm, rather than on punishing them. 

As  more and more people from around the world show their support for the Tribunal, its decisions will begin to have significant impacts despite the fact that they are not enforceable in conventional courts.

You can show your support for the work of the Tribunal by donating funds as follows:

To follow the action in Paris:

17 January 2018

Join our expert team in a full-day workshop exploring the hot topics in South African environmental law.

Cape Town // 13 March 2018 // 08:30–16:00

16 January 2018

Minister Calls for Paper & Packaging Industry, Electrical & Electronic Industry and Lighting Industry to Prepare and Submit Waste Management Plans

The Minister of Environmental Affairs has published a notice requiring the paper and packaging industry, electrical and electronic industry and lighting industry to prepare and submit industry waste management plans for approval

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