Enviro group wants "legal rights for flora and fauna"

© NHN 2009 Flickr

Witness for the prosecution…

I guess this would be a Friday Funny if it weren’t for real. The battiness of the environmental movement really knows no bounds. “Experts” meeting in Queensland are apparently calling for the introduction of “wild law” which will hand legal rights to plants and animals and various other parts of the ecosystem:

Australia’s rivers, forests, ocean waters, flora and fauna should have their own legal rights, according to environmental experts meeting in Brisbane today.

Lawyers, academics and researchers from across the world will gather at Griffith University to discuss this emerging global legal movement, known as “wild law”.

The movement calls for laws to not just protect species and properly manage environments, but to actually hand legal power over to flora and fauna.

Conference organiser Michelle Maloney, the convener of the new Australian Wild Law Alliance, said the movement’s successes in South America had come about because indigenous groups were strongly represented in senior leadership positions within governments.

“At this point in time, all western legal structures and governance systems are based on a belief that humans can do whatever they wish and that most things out there in the world are simply for our use,” she said. (source)

Speaking as a lawyer, I look forward to seeing how one is supposed to take legal instructions from an ocean, or a forest, or an endangered species of fish, perhaps. Maybe we’ll see polar bears in solicitors’ office waiting rooms, flicking through back copies of National Geographic to see if they can spot any members of their family in the photos.

And surely if we grant such rights to plants and animals, then they must bear the same responsibilities as their human counterparts, including the duty to provide first hand evidence of the wrongs done to them in open court. “Call Fluffy to the witness box, please” will be the cry echoing through courtrooms across the land. And I can’t see cross-examination going that well, to be honest.

And don’t expect to get paid in a hurry either, except perhaps in dead fish.


UPDATE: It is also worthy of note that the environmental movement seeks in so many ways to take civilisation back to the Medieval period, so it should come as no surprise that it is now returning us to the age of animal trials (except this time with the parties reversed).


  1. Patricia Lannum via Facebook says:

    Some are floating those ideas here in the U.S.,too.

  2. They’re insane.

  3. Wesley Warren via Facebook says:

    I can attest to their individuality.

  4. A kangaroo court I tell ya! Ha. I’ll let myself out..

  5. Next they’ll be letting them vote. Oh dear…that’s a horrible thought. Animals voting the greens in with a majority.

  6. Theres the sick, hungry, down trodden, oppressed and homeless all across this Earth and they want legal rights for flora and fauna…….shaking my head in dismay!!

  7. Make no no mistake, this will be rammed through parliament without consultation, in unrepealable law. The whole place has just gone to shit.

  8. Bill Hough via Facebook says:

    At some point, there’s got to be a common-sense backlash to all this absurdity.


    I can see a late climate change oops career change ..as an advocate for flora and fauna. Well some one has to defend those pesky territorial possum’s rights to cause havoc as they invade inner city living…..

  10. Oh, maybe I should put my fishing gear on eBay today?

  11. Some people need to get a life……seriously – imagine interviewing a fish as a prosecution witness?

    “Blub” your honour…..

    Actually, the kicker in this is that logically it allows animals to prosecute humans for “wrongful death” – so next time you chow down on a tbone steak, the extreme greenies will view you as an accomplice to murder.

    This all has a bad feel to it. Once you start recognising nature as mor eimportant than people, you get the reality of life wrong – humans are above animals, as base don a christian-judeo belief system as well – this is a clever attack on our heritage and belief systems.

  12. Bob Campbell says:

    This happened in Switzerland in 2008.
    Google ‘plant rights switzerland’

  13. Bruce Oz Colyer via Facebook says:

    read about this in other places ,these nuts need to get a proper job

  14. The Loaded Dog says:

    Dope plants will be excluded from this “wild law” of course. Without this exemption we wouldn’t have this wonderful law or the many others like it…..such as the introduction of legislation taxing our breath…

    pffffffhhhhhttt…..crackle crackle……cough cough…..whoooaah man….dat’s gooooooood sh#t…

  15. William Denton via Facebook says:

    Ok so that means “If” i am travelling along a legal roiad at or below legal speed and a kangaroo comes bounding out at my vechicle at a great rate of knots (Speed) and my vechicle and myself gets damaged,I can sue the “Enviro group for damages etc? Also if there big nasty native tree falls on my house or property I can sue them again ??? If so …Cooooolllll

    • sounds fair william , councils have been sued for damages to vehicles due to road conditions such as pot holes etc : so why not ? hey , i need a new ute , here skippy 😉

  16. Although I strongly oppose the carbon tax and the man made global warming theory, I take umbrage upon the fact that giving other living beings rights is labeled as ‘lunacy’. In my mind, extending rights to animals and other non-human beings is merely a logical extension of libertarianism, to secure to them freedom which humans enjoy. I have no objection to for example, legally providing animals the right to life.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      No more zinger burgers for you then….although I assume you’re a vegan?

      Which then raises the question.

      Does your concern extend to right to life of plants?

      And what about bacteria? As bacteria are also “living things” and are in fact living “non-human beings” should we leave them unfettered access to life as well and ban penicillin?

      • The Loaded Dog says:

        Oh, and just one more thing.

        Given your compassion for all things living I know I can also safely assume you don’t wear leather shoes or a belt….right?

    • Ah! A little balance, moderate and welcome so far as you have gone.

  17. Ray Anderson via Facebook says:

    Having “rights” is not a stand alone concept. You require responsibilites to have rights. Exactly what responsibilities do you confer upon the wild?

  18. Maybe the Darebin council will have to provide a sow only swimming group for muslim pigs? “Vegetable rights and peace” I think Neil from the Yong Ones said?

  19. Paul Ingoldby via Facebook says:

    “… who can speak for the flora and fauna, since they can’t speak for themselves? Well that’s easy – the Government, of course. And who pays for litigation, since they can’t? Why those who are accused, of course, that’s only fair, right? And how much do they pay? Whatever their representative, the Government, says they should.
    So this is, in real world terms, a plan to give the Government the power to compel, restrict and impoverish anyone, anywhere, in the name of beings who have no voice of their own. Violations will be crimes against not just humanity, but against Mother Earth herself.”

  20. Steve Rogers via Facebook says:

    Does this mean we can feed that enviro group to bears, and the bears have the right to eat them?

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Don’t be stupid Steve.

      The bears….and all the unicorns…would “respect” these wonderful laws as well. And of course there’s the threat of litigation. The bears would not want that.

  21. Keith Barnett says:

    I think what this is saying is that certain ‘inalienable rights’ of animals, climate, cumulus clouds and sundry other lesser inhabitants, will be enshrined in legislation that will make it an offence to do whatever it is that makes them less equal to humans.

    This is the madness you get when you run with the evolutionary principle that we are only animals, just as they are. These people must be history’s most miserable misanthropes.

    Ah, I get it. Watermelons have to have rights, don’t they? After all, there’s a bunch of them ripening in the Senate.

    It seems that some have got the life they want; this sort of tripe is part of Brazil’s legal system, based on the cult religion of a tribe of natives.

  22. If the tiger snake on our property bites the dog do I sue the snake or does the dog have to sue it himself?

  23. Rob Greaves via Facebook says:

    Sounds like I am doomed then. That dangerous 70ft+ gumtree that is rotting and lurches over our house must fall in and kill us. Trees more important than people. Madness. Not that I would expect much more from a radical greens PM. The ‘real’ PM – Bob Brown, that is.

    • as it stands rob i think you’ll find you already may have to get a permit to deal with the tree , yeah i know it sinks .
      a friend of ours has bought a block nearby us & was told with the planning permit that they’d have to plant something like 100 trees for each one they cut down – i told them to tell the council fine , you’ve been carbon trading with me because i have about 1000 self growing eucalypt suckers ,,, sounds fair to me 😉

  24. Rick Bradford says:

    This notion smacks of blatant rockism & mudism. Why shouldn’t rocks and mud have legal rights also?

  25. Its all part of the new world order – they want control of every living thing

  26. Paul Ingoldby via Facebook says:

    – a dingo eats a numbat . . . do we prosecute?

  27. Will crocodiles need to become vegetarians or can they get by only eating exotic species? Can the Greens please get out into the swamps and inform the crocodiles of their rights and obligations?

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      Oh dear….so many questions……these laws are so confusing…

      WHO will interpret them for us?

      Oh wait…..of course….the lawyers.

  28. The speakers at this Wild Law Conference 2011 green talk-fest are a veritable who’s who of global warming and green hysteria.

    Emeritus academics who have very little knowledge of real life, safely cocooned in their world of academia, where diplomas and degrees take precedence over common sense and where preaching to the Earth goddess of Gaia is the new unquestioning religion.

  29. The lunatics are taking over….and to think these clowns are probably being paid to sit down and have such a discussion…..I hope its being chaired by Mr Squirrel

  30. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Simon you refer to polar bears is potential litigants:
    Maybe we’ll see polar bears in solicitors’ office waiting rooms, flicking through back copies of “National Geographic” to see if they can spot any members of their family in the photos.
    Maybe not as far fetched as we may think. NoTricksZone reported recently:
    Expeditions are normally provided with firearms for protection. But as Der Spiegel reports, shooting a polar bear is legally risky – no joke:

    If a polar bear is killed on the archipelago, then it automatically leads to a trial. In this case the authorities assume the role of defence attorney for the dead bear.”

    So who is going to want to shoot?
    As they say truth is stranger than fiction.

  31. Oh dear, Butchers & greengrocers will be a thing of the past then, theyll be all locked up for murder by these looneytunes.

  32. Col of Blackburn says:

    Does this mean I will have to approach the Guardianship and Administration board for permission to mow my lawn and weed my garden?

    I hear this nonsense has already started, someone stood on a cornflake in their kitchen, they they have been declared a ‘serial murderer!’ 😉

  33. @tim no, they will have to pay an “indulgence” to continue sining…

  34. As that cartoon says, meat for birthdays only Timmy, only the elite drive cars and a job cleaning carbon scrubbers ain’t so bad of that is what the family (government) want you to do.

  35. Russell Hamstead says:

    Under this legal system couldnt the family of say, a Zebra, have a lion sentenced to death for murder?

  36. Great idea ! What a peachy job for a lawyer. Avocados definitely need lawyers to protect them from being bruised. Next they’ll be jailing tomatoes for getting smashed.


    Russell Hamstead …. I guess it would also become politically incorrect to have a Zebra crossing !

  38. and the sad thing is, here in america I already live with that way of thinking in the county I live in. They even have a low that says you are your dogs guardian, not the other way around. Man I wish those people would just go away. If they really think we are hurting planet earth so badly, they should just leave it.

  39. these enviros need to get a real job instead of suckling on the teat of humanity

  40. Would certainly put an end to wind turbines then. !!

  41. Bryan Harris says:

    This is unfortunately where green thinking goes – its been copied from Spain – they tried this a while back .

    It’s gross stupidy from a sane viewpoint, but from a green perspective, it gives them control – they of course represent the animals and environment, and bring cases on their behalf – so its a win win for the idiots.

    If this passes into law then there is no hope for Australia, for the insane greens will be able to accuse anybody of anything and enforce punishment – they will rule.

    Yet, this is where insanity leads, with the greens at the head of it.

  42. suppose it gets me outa mowing the lawn , wouldn’t want to sear my concience knowing i mass slaughtered thousands of blades of grass ,,, or would i be sued for abuse because trimming is good for a plants health & i’ve been negligent – damn i’m so confused already .

    with legal rights comes legal responsibilities ,,, i can see the court room now – ” mr tiger is it true that you attacked this fine upstanding gentleman & his flock of sweet innocent sheep ? “

    • and what about my wife’s poor roses ,,, will she be required to carry a horticulturists qualification when she prunes them ???
      i should probably be quiet now , they could be reading this & i might be giving them ideas

    • Bryan Harris says:

      It gets worse that that Paul…….

      “The accused, mi’lud is clearly guilty of this crime, why he admitted himself his own reckless and wanton behaviour in causing dire harm to the defendant the Oak tree. Not only did the accused cut off limbs and cause great pain to the tree, but he also reduced the trunk to a stump. The tree may never survive this.

      Additionally, after allowing the dead branches to dry, he put them to the fire, causing additional pollution, and this also smoothered the nearby shrubs and foliage of many other trees and bushes, blocking their ability to take in the sun and stifling their growth.

      I demand this man serve no less that 20 years behind bars for this dreadful crime against the environment.

      I really hope this is a joke…

  43. I ,like many climate change skeptics , no longer trust any conservationist or conservationist organization. This is what comes from all their scaremongering over climate change. It has just served to alienate the Consevatioist movement from the average punter. If they have overblown the AGW threat by so much,then they have probably ecxagerated many other threats as well. A bit sad really.

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