Earth jurisprudence | Wikipedia audio article

Earth jurisprudence | Wikipedia audio article

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Earth jurisprudence is a philosophy of law
and human governance that is based on the fact that humans are only one part of a wider
community of beings and that the welfare of each member of that community is dependent
on the welfare of the Earth as a whole. It states that human societies will only be
viable and flourish if they regulate themselves as part of this wider Earth community and
do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental laws or principles that govern
how the universe functions, which is the ‘Great Jurisprudence’. Earth jurisprudence can be differentiated
from the Great jurisprudence, but can also be understood as being embedded within it. Earth jurisprudence can be seen as a special
case of the Great Jurisprudence, applying universal principles to the governmental,
societal and biological processes of Earth. Earth jurisprudence seeks to expand our understanding
of the relevance of governance beyond humanity to the whole Earth community, it is Earth-centric
rather than anthropocentric. It is concerned with the maintenance and regulation
of relations between all members of the Earth community, not just between human beings. Earth jurisprudence is intended to provide
a philosophical basis for the development and implementation of human governance systems,
which may include ethics, laws, institutions, policies and practices. It also places an emphasis on the internalisation
of these insights and on personal practice, in living in accordance with Earth jurisprudence
as a way of life. Earth jurisprudence should reflect a particular
human community’s understanding of how to regulate itself as part of the Earth community
and should express the qualities of the Great jurisprudence of which it forms part. The specific applications of Earth jurisprudence
will vary from society to society, while sharing common elements. These elements include: a recognition that any Earth jurisprudence
exists within a wider context that shapes it and influences how it functions;
a recognition that the universe is the source of the fundamental ‘Earth rights’ of all
members of the Earth community, rather than some part of the human governance system and
accordingly these rights cannot be validly circumscribed or abrogated by human jurisprudence;
a means of recognising the roles and ‘rights’ of non-human members of the Earth community
and of restraining humans from unjustifiably preventing them fulfilling those roles;
a concern for reciprocity and the maintenance of a dynamic equilibrium between all the members
of the Earth community determined by what is best for the system as a whole (Earth justice);
and an approach to condoning or disapproving human
conduct on the basis of whether or not the conduct strengthens or weakens the bonds that
constitute the Earth community.==History==
The need for a new jurisprudence was first identified by Thomas Berry who identified
the destructive anthropocentrism on which existing legal and political structures are
based as a major impediment to the necessary transition to an ecological age in which humans
would seek a new intimacy with the integral functioning of the natural world. The feasibility of developing this jurisprudence
(by then provisionally referred to as ‘Earth jurisprudence’) was discussed at meeting
attended by Berry in April 2001, organised by the Gaia Foundation in London at the Airlie
Conference Center outside Washington. A group of people involved in the law and
with indigenous peoples came together from South Africa, Britain, Colombia, Canada and
the United States. (See ‘Thomas Berry and an Earth Jurisprudence:
An Exploratory Essay’, by Mike Bell, The Trumpeter, Vol. 19, no. 1 (2003)). The first detailed exploration of Earth jurisprudence
in print and the introduction of the term ‘Great Jurisprudence’ occurred with the
first publication of Wild Law by Cormac Cullinan, launched at the World Summit for Sustainable
Development in Cape Town 2002. 2004 workshop
April 2004, first UK workshop held to discuss and develop the principles of Earth jurisprudence,
titled ‘Wild Law Wilderness Workshop: A Walking Workshop on Earth Jurisprudence’. Donald Reid (former chairman of UKELA, the
UK Environmental Law Association) and Cormac Cullinan (author of Wild Law) lead the workshop
in the Knoydart Peninsula (one of the last true wilderness areas in the Scotland). The feasibility of developing a new form of
jurisprudence was discussed at a conference in Washington attended by Thomas Berry in
April 2001, organised by the Gaia Foundation. A group of people involved with law and indigenous
peoples attended from South Africa, Britain, Colombia, Canada and the United States.In
2006 the first Center for Earth Jurisprudence established in Florida. The mission of the Centre, which is co-sponsored
by Barry and St. Thomas Universities, Florida, is to re-envision law and governance in ways
that support the well being of the Earth community as a whole. This involves fostering mutually enhancing
relationships among humans and nature and recognition of the rights of nature.Earth
jurisprudence UK conference held in November 2006, ‘A Walk on the Wild Side: Changing Environmental
Law’. Based on the book Wild Law by Cormac Cullinan. Held at the University of Brighton and organised
jointly by UKELA and ELF. Chaired by John Elkington (of SustainAbility
and the ELF Advisory Council) with guest speakers, Cormac Cullinan, Norman Baker MP (former Liberal
Democrat Environment Spokesman), Satish Kumar (Resurgence) and Begonia Filgueira (Gaia Law
Ltd). References: ELFLine is the quarterly newsletter of the
Environmental Law Foundation, which reports on both the status of the Foundation and matters
of general environmental interest. ELF was one of the organizers of the 2006
conference. The Gaia Foundation news
News from Gaian Life, a company dedicated to improving both health and the environment
through organic and eco-friendly lifestyles as well as scientific research and regeneration
projects. John Elkington’s Journal recording the day
he chaired the 2006 conference and to Cullinan’s book, Wild Law. Photo of speakers and others involved. Community Ecological Governance newsletter,
No. 5 quarterly update October 2006Earth jurisprudence open meeting, a formal evening of talk and
discussion on ‘Law and Governance from an Earth-Centred Perspective’, November 2006. With Patricia Siemen, Director of the Center
for Earth Jurisprudence, and colleagues Margaret Galiardi and Herman Greene. Liz Hosken, Director of the Gaia Foundation,
gave a brief overview of the latest initiatives to further Earth jurisprudence thinking globally,
as increasingly, given the rapidly deteriorating state of the planet, this idea of law is guiding
and inspiring a number of legal departments in different parts of the world, from Ethiopia
and Ghana, to the United States. Meeting chaired by Ian Mason, Head of Law
and Economics at the School of Economic Science, London, and organised by the Gaia Foundation. Held at Denning Hall, north London. 2007 events
“Earth Jurisprudence: Defining the Field and Claiming the Promise”, a three-day colloquium
on the principles and implications of the emerging field of Earth Jurisprudence. Cormac Cullinan of EnAct International, South
Africa, Thomas Linzey and Richard Grossman both of Community Environmental Legal Defense
Fund, Pennsylvania, and Liz Hosken of Gaia Foundation, London, are amongst the speakers
at the new Centre for Earth Jurisprudence in Florida, USA, April 2007. UK conference and workshop, September 2007,
entitled, “A ‘Wild Law’ Response to Climate Change”. A participatory event to develop a practical
approach for applying Wild Law principles which are already helping shift legal processes
in the US and South Africa. Organised by UK Environmental Law Association,
in partnership with the Environmental Law Foundation and the Gaia Foundation, with funding
from the Body Shop Foundation. Internationally renowned speakers will include
Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety, Pennsylvania, who
helped win a Supreme Court case in the USA on climate change; Cormac Cullinan, the South
African lawyer and author of Wild Law; and Peter Roderick, Director of the Climate Justice
Programme UK, a barrister with twenty years’ experience in private practise, the oil industry,
academia and the public interest environmental sector, and was Friends of the Earth’s lawyer
in London from 1996. Held at a conference centre in Derbyshire,
UK. References: UKELA next events. An Earth Jurisprudence conference held in
the US in February 2008, in collaboration with the new Center for Earth Jurisprudence,
and with students from Barry University Law School (Orlando, FL) and St. Thomas University
Law School (Miami, FL). EARTH JURISPRUDENCE IN AUSTRALIA
Australia has a very active Earth jurisprudence and ‘wild law’ movement. The first wild law conference in Australia
was held in Adelaide, South Australia in 2009 and a second conference was held in Wollongong,
New South Wales, in 2010. A third Wild Law conference was organised
in 2011 in Brisbane, Queensland and at that time a core group of Earth jurisprudence advocates
formed the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (www.earthlaws.org.au). The Australian Earth Laws Alliance is the
leading organisation in Australia promoting Earth laws and wild law. For information about their projects, members,
conferences and events, please visit their website.==Classes being taught in law schools==
The first law school course in Earth Jurisprudence was taught at Barry University School of Law
during the Spring term 2007, by Professor Sister Patricia Siemen, Esquire, Director
of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence and adjunct faculty at Barry School of Law. The Queens University of Belfast School of
Law is introducing a half-module on human rights and wild law approaches to the protection
of the environment as part of its LLM programmes in 2013-14. http://www.law.qub.ac.uk

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