NGC Webinar Series: Nature's Constitutional Right to Exist - As Nature? [10 June 2022]

The Applied Constitutional Study Laboratory (ACSL) at the Dullah Omar Institute together with the Global Environmental Law Centre (GELC), University of the Western Cape, invite you to a webinar: Does Nature have a Constitutional Right to Exist - As Nature?
  • What DOI Event
  • When 10 Jun, 2022 from 09:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Africa/Johannesburg / UTC200)
  • Where Zoom (Virtual meeting)
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Life in all forms is dependent on nature. The intimate and symbiotic relationship between nature, life, and humankind has been recognized by many different cultures. Stone, river, mountain, forest, and animals enjoy a sacred status in many cultures.  With the rise and development of industrial modernity, nature generally lost any claim to sacral status, and became a resource to be dominated and exploited in the interests of one species: humankind. Species destruction, deforestation, ecological collapse, and climate change are legacies of that exploitation.

Unless it is protected as a human right, in constitutions, nature has no rights of its own. In recent years, however, a rights of nature movement has emerged worldwide. Constitutions, parliaments and courts have begun to recognizes legal and constitutional rights of nature.

In this webinar we speak to Dr. Erin O'Donnell and Dr. Mohammad Sohidul Islam from Melbourne University about their recent article on the Bangladesh Supreme Court's seminal 2019 decision to recognize rivers as living entities having rights in Bangladesh. The webinar serves to provide an overview of and background to the case. It also questions the legal, constitutional, and doctrinal grounds the case was decided? The webinar also focuses on how the jurisprudence in New Zealand and elsewhere?


  • Erin O’Donnell, Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne
  • Mohammad Sohidul Islam (TBC)


  • Professor Derek Powell, Dullah Omar Institute, UWC
  • Dr. Angela van der Berg, Global Environmental Law Centre, UWC


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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