Photo by: Linda Sheehan Promoting Earth Education

As is the case with our legal systems, our education systems are embedded within an over-arching assumption of humans as separate from, and “managers” of, the natural world. As a result, fundamental challenges to the current legal, economic, and corporate models that govern our society and decide on our collective well-being are generally an after-thought in our educational models.

Earth Law Center works to change this paradigm and prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the significant challenges that they will face. ELC does so in part by developing and circulating “rights of nature” law school curricula and conducting law and policy instruction in universities. Such efforts not only expand education, but they also begin to build a body of advocates for “rights for nature” from the ground up. ELC also seeks to create supportive clinics in law schools and build partnerships more broadly with universities seeking to create similar education models.

Earth Law Center's Initiatives Photo by: Linda Sheehan

Earth Law Center has developed a detailed Earth Law curriculum to be presented in law schools for a two- to three-credit class. ELC taught this Earth Law class at Vermont Law School during its 2012-2014 Summer Sessions, and will teach again in 2015. ELC is also working to promote use of this curriculum in other universities. ELC additionally taught a one-credit version of this class in the graduate program at California Institute of Integral Studies in Spring 2014 and Spring 2015. ELC has presented on this topic at numerous universities, including Stanford Law School and other San Francisco Bay Area law schools, the University of Hawai'i Richardson School of Law, Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, UCLA's Institute for the Environment, the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, the University of Victoria, B.C. in March 2013 and April 2013, and Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia as part of their “Wild Law” Conference.

Earth Law Center also has developed partnerships to advance rights for nature with Southern Cross University’s “Earth Law Network,” as well as Barry University’s Center for Earth Jurisprudence. Earth Law Center’s Executive Director has been named a Research Affiliate with the University of Victoria, British Columbia’s Centre for Global Studies and its POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, which has an active nature’s rights program entitled “Green Legal Theory”. ELC will expand these partnerships to other universities.

As part of this education and outreach effort, ELC will connect universities and researchers through its Earth Community mapping initiative, which will demonstrate over time the growing number of educational projects advancing the legal, economic, and scientific elements of rights for nature world-wide.

Related Links

Center for the Rights of Nature at Yale University
Center for Earth Jurisprudence
POLIS Project on Green Legal Theory
Southern Cross University Earth Laws Network
California Institute for Integral Studies
The New School at Commonweal
The Gaia Foundation
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
Earth Charter Initiative
Center for Ecozoic Studies
Schumacher College for New Economists

"Earth Law: Toward a Flourishing Earth Community," California Institute of Integral Studies, March-April 2014
"Earth Law," Vermont Law School, July 2013
Barry Univeristy, "Exploring Principles of Earth Jurisprudence" Syllabus
Linda Sheehan, "Fighting for Waterway Rights in California," Presented at Griffith University, Sept. 2011

YouTube: Bioneers Channel
"This Is Your Home" - Video
Southern Cross University, "Introduction to Earth Laws Network"

Other Information
Journey of the Universe
Wild Law Australia 2011 Conference
Continuing Legal Education Webinar
Introducing Systems Thinking