Welcome to the Wild Law special interest group page. We invite you to join our group, attend our events and get actively involved!
What is Wild Law?
Wild Law is a phrase coined by the lawyer and author Cormac Cullinan to describe a holistic approach to law and governance. This approach is based on principles of ecology, that all of life is an interconnected web of which human beings are only a part. It seeks to align law with ecology and the science of living systems. The current system of law and governance places human beings at the centre, and views us as separate from Nature. This view promotes the exploitation of Nature by seeing it as a resource base largely for the benefit of humans. This has led to the multiple environmental crises we now face.
Events - What's coming up and what does the group do?
Join us in the Lake District next 25 to 28 May for our annual Wild Law weekend. We are delighted to be going to the Coniston Coppermines youth hostel at the foot of Old Man of Coniston, now a World Heritage site. More information including how to book below.
Our events aim to promote the understanding of Wild Law and related concepts and attitudes, through fostering discussion and initiatives around how we can improve our relationship with Nature through Law. Our Wild Law Weekends hope that by being immersed in a more natural environment, participants can get a better understanding of the issues and develop creative ways of connecting Nature with Law. All members are encouraged to propose and help organise activities. Please contact the convenors to join the group.
Our 2017 event took place over the weekend of 26-29 May at the Glen Nevis youth hostel in beautiful Fort William. 24 delegates met for a wonderful weekend of walking, talking and renewing friendships.
Please take a look at Matthew Terry's film of the weekend (with thanks also to Simon Boyle) https://youtu.be/cgQeTzdF5R4
Our 2016 event took place over the weekend of 26-30 May at the Honister Hause Youth Hostel near Keswick in Cumbria. This glorious location, in the Lake District, provided the opportunity for 20 delegates to consider topical wild law issues with like-minded colleagues and friends.
In previous years, we have held our weekends in Northumberland; on the Isle of Arran; on the shores of Loch Lomond; the hills of Derbyshire and the South Downs.
Giving legal personality to Ben Nevis
Colin Robertson suggested the idea of giving Ben Nevis legal personality as UKELA Wild Law members joined members of the John Muir Trust for an evening at the Nevis Centre on Saturday 27 May 2017. It was followed by articles he wrote for the JMT Magazine and UKELA e-law publication (July / August, Issue 101, page 30).
The JMT article has attracted the attention of the Scotsman with a publication in Scotland on Sunday on 5 November 2017. The next day BBC Scotland presented the issue in their Kaye Adams Programme (scroll to 2:38:00 , it ends at 2:45:35).
Does Wild Law already exist in Law?
In 2009, UKELA published the report 'Wild Law: is there any evidence of Earth Jurisprudence in Existing Law and Practice?' See below for link to report.
It looked selectively at environmental laws around the world and concluded that while some contained elements of Wild Law, none could be completely described as “wild.” However, environmental law is evolving, Wild Law has moved on. Laws that recognise Nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive, and renew her natural cycles exist in the following places:
For further reading and background about Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence, follow the links below.