Welcome to the Arne Næss Chair 10th Anniversary Seminar.
With his famous 1972 essay, "Should Trees Have Standing?", the lawyer Christopher D. Stone opened a legal and philosophical debate about the legal rights of nature. For a long time, this discussion remained academic, but now, in the age of the Anthropocene, there has been an upsurge of environmental activism that takes the law (and the courts) as its main instrument.
Climate lawsuits are in process or underway in countries such as the Philippines, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Norway. In many of these cases, lawyers, NGOs, researchers, activists, and others claim that the state has broken its own Penal Code – and hence the rule of order – regarding the preservation of nature.
The theme of this seminar is how law is now being used as a moral, political, and strategic tool in the fight for the rights of nature. Featuring talks from scholars of English/literature, science and technology studies, and human geography, we invite you to take part in the discussion about how law is – and can be – used in the environmental struggles of our day.