The Rights of Nature with César Rodríguez-Garavito

Monday April 10th

Recent developments in the natural sciences, moral philosophy, and politics have fundamentally questioned the categorical distinction between humans and non-humans that is at the core of modern law and human rights thought and practice. From biologists’ new findings about the profound similarities and interconnections between humans and other species to moral philosophers’ recent work on justice for non-humans to the increasing influence of ecocentric social movements, the heretofore rigid conceptual boundaries between humans and non-humans have become increasingly blurry.

Although the rights of animals and other non-human entities have been recognised in pioneering norms and court rulings from around the world, legal thought and practice remain firmly anthropocentric. In order to address this gap and take the rights of nature to the next level, the NYU Earth Rights Advocacy program launched the More Than Human Rights (MOTH) project, a global interdisciplinary collaboration among prominent scientists, philosophers, lawyers, Indigenous leaders, advocates, and journalists who are actively working on this topic.

In this talk and discussion, César Rodríguez-Garavito, MOTH’s founding director will preview the key findings and ideas from the forthcoming first volume of the project. He will ask: What theoretical and legal approaches can solidify the foundations for the rights of nature? How do findings from the natural sciences, Indigenous knowledge, and other fields shed new light on the idea of the rights of nature? What types of non-human entities should be protected? What types of rights should they be recognised as holding? What are the lessons from existing legislation, constitutional provisions, and lawsuits that embrace this notion? How are social movements, policymakers, judges, and other actors disrupting human rights’ anthropocentric framework and institutional architecture?

Kairos, The Bookroom, Essex Hall, 1-6 Essex Street, WC2R 3HY

6.30pm for drinks, talk starts at 7pm

Tickets: £5 members, £15 non-members.

Includes vegetarian food