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Thread: NZ river given human rights

  1. #1
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    Default NZ river given human rights

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39282918

    A river in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person.
    The New Zealand parliament passed the bill recognising the Whanganui River, in North Island, as a living entity.
    Long revered by New Zealand's Maori people, the river's interests will now be represented by two people.
    The Maori had been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river, a minister said.
    "I know the initial inclination of some people will say it's pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality," said New Zealand's Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.
    "But it's no stranger than family trusts, or companies or incorporated societies."
    The Whanganui River, New Zealand's third-longest, will be represented by one member from the Maori tribes, known as iwi, and one from the Crown.
    The recognition allows it to be represented in court proceedings
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    Maybe the first river, but it follows the precedent of the Tūhoe settlement where Te Urawera became a legal entity.

    http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...es/te-urewera/
    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    A little over 30 years ago, Christopher D. Stone, a Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, authored one of the most elegant and provocative law review articles ever published on environmental law and humankind's place in the world: Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects, 45 S. Cal. L. Rev. 450 (1972). (I will refer below to this article simply as Trees.) In arguing that natural objects and areas should have legal rights, Stone gave formal voice to the "land ethic" advocated a generation earlier by Aldo Leopold, and in so doing he changed the debate. Stone showed how the law has progressed over time to confer rights upon persons or entities that society previously had considered incapable or unworthy of having rights. Children, slaves, women,

    Native Americans, racial minorities, aliens, fetuses, endangered species—all have been the beneficiaries of this drive to give legal voice and legal rights to those who once lacked both voice and rights. So, too, argued Stone, has the law recognized corporations and other entities as having legal rights. It was not always so.

    Stone's point was elegantly and succinctly made. But why did Trees not go the way of most law review articles and disappear into scholarly oblivion?

    Trees survived because only days after it was published, Justice William O. Douglas cited the article in his famous dissent from the Supreme Court's decision in the Mineral King Valley case: Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972) (4-3 decision). On its face, the Court's decision in Sierra Club v. Morton was against the Sierra Club: The Court held that—because the Club had failed to allege that it would be injured—the Club lacked standing to challenge the Forest Service's issuance to Walt Disney Enterprises of a permit for a ski resort.

    http://www.princetonindependent.com/...3/item10d.html
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    I'm wondering which way it will vote next November.
    I'm also interested to hear what will happen when it floods. Should those who suffer damage sue it?

    John Welsford
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I'm wondering which way it will vote next November.
    I'm also interested to hear what will happen when it floods. Should those who suffer damage sue it?

    John Welsford
    Sure. Rights come with responsibilities.

    There are Port Districts and such to serve as models.
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
    It wasn't racism, it was an attack on Christianity. -- Fox News
    This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    The river is not responsible for the precipitation that it is draining into the sea, nor the state of its riparian areas that are supposed to be forested, not bare pasture, nor the stupidity of the humans that built in its flood plain.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: NZ river given human rights

    I reckon it should get a bloody job. Next it will be claiming unemployment benefits, maybe even migrating to Australia.

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