• Research/Scholar Paper name – Cry of the Environment A Perspective
  • Author: Mihir Shyam Asolekar
  • Institution: Advocate, High Court of Judicature at Bombay
  • Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
  • Date of Publication: 21/04/2022


The law of nature is the science, that teaches the rights subsisting between nations and nature, and the obligations corresponding to those rights.[1]  However, any law presupposes the holding of a legal right.  A question that arises here is who owns or holds the legal rights?  First and most obviously, if the term is to have any authority by itself, an entity cannot be said to hold legal rights unless and until some public authoritative body is willing to give some amount of review to the actions that stand inconsistent with those rights.[2] 

Right of nature is a legal and political term that advocates the legal standing and fight for the protection of the natural environment.[3]  Arguably, since all the plants, animals, and other organisms have their right to dignity, which can be seen as being recognised under the Constitution of Switzerland, (Article 120), the implications of these laws are still not very clear.[4] 

An important aspect to consider is whether the Earth or nature requires these rights or not.  On September 30, 2015, Pope Francis made his boldest claim in front of the world leaders at the UN, on the environment, detailing that the Earth is God’s given gift, and it should be dealt with properly.[5]  The Pope has proposed that “we are all a part of the environment, and we live in communion with it.  Since the environment represents ethical limits which every human activity must acknowledge and respect”[6] 

The Guardian reported that climate change continues to be a justice issue, and not a life issue.[7]  The Pope’s intention in addressing this issue of climate change and for the rights of the environment is to bring an end to the ambivalence about climate change.[8] 

The main idea behind writing this article is to enumerate the various steps taken by different countries in bringing ahead the environmental laws that are applicable to both, the citizens as well as the corporate families.  This article is a commentary on how nature has been degraded and why there arises a need to bring in laws to protect nature.  We, humans, are smart enough to understand what the nature has sacrificed for our well-being and therefore, it is the moral duty of every individual to look after the nature and surrounding environment considering all that has been happening across the globe, every State needs to bring in-laws for the protection of the environment, without which there will soon come a time when the environment shall degrade, and we shall be left strangling to our own faith. 

  • [1] Carroll, John W., “Laws of Nature”, The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Winter 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • [2] Christopher Stone, “Should Tree Have Standing?- Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”, Southern California Law Review 45 (1972), 450, 452
  • [3] Alyssa Wethington, Helen Louis George, If Corporations Have Rights, Shouldn’t Nature Too? Earth Law Centre, https://www.earthlawcenter.org, (last visited on 14th March 2022)
  • [4] www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_of_Nature, (last visited on 14th March 2022)
  • [5] deseretnews.com/article/865637928/Does-the-environment-have-a-right-to-be-protected-Pope-Francis-thinks-so.html?  
  • [6] Id
  • [7] Suzanne Goldenberg, Pope Francis faces a challenge persuading US’s Catholic leaders on climate change, The Guardian, www.theguardian.com/environment, (last visited on 4th April 2022)
  • [8] Wesley J. Smith, Francis flirts with “Nature Rights”, National Review, nationalreview.com, (last visited on 4th April 2022)

Cry of the Environment A Perspective

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