Recently 'wild laws' aimed at protecting all the Earth's community - including animals, plants, rivers and ecosystems - have begun to be discussed. The concept of Wild Law proposes that we rethink our legal and political systems to stop environmental destruction. Wild Law is a new system of legal thinking and practice which has the potential to turn the tide of environmental damage and enable new means of addressing the significant challenges we face. It springs from Earth Jurisprudence and Community Ecological Governance.
Earth jurisprudence involves looking at the philosophy and value systems that underpin most legal and governance systems, and making sure they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth.
Community ecological governance
Community ecological governance is concerned with the community governance systems, norms and practices that have evolved to govern interaction with local biodiversity sustainably over thousands of years. Wild Law places these concepts into basic principles of law that could one day be accepted by the courts or embodied in statute.
Wild Law resources
In March 2009 UKELA and the Gaia Foundation published an international research report: "Wild law: Is there any evidence of Earth Jurisprudence in existing law and practice?" You can download it here or order a paper copy by sending a cheque payable to the UK Environmental Law Associationfor £12 (including postage and packing) to UKELA, Wild Law Report, PO Box 487, Dorking, RH4 9BH. Please remember to include your name and address.
In The Press
8 November 2006, the Guardian published an article that summarises what wild law is about: "On thin ice - Could 'wild laws' protecting all the Earth's community - including animals, plants, rivers and ecosystems - save our natural world?", by Simon Boyle (a member of UKELA's Council) and Vicki Elcoate (UKELA Executive Director).