File Size: 1412 KB
Print Length: 261 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (April 7, 2010)
Publication Date: April 7, 2010
Legal standing is a term which applies to the ability of a person, or parties to demonstrate their position before a court. In the context of environmental regulation, there has been great discourse in connection with nature of legal standing and its applicability to natural items. This includes forests, oceans, rivers, and other items which ought to incorporate some degree of recognized rights but do not have the function to independently obtain them. Christopher D. Stone has become a forerunner in the environmental movement by writing his seminal publication, "Should Trees Have Standing up? ", amongst his other literature, which proposes the idea of bestowing rights into non human celebrations. Stone's core thesis is that natural objects should be granted legal rights as well as standing to ensure a larger recognition of their rights. Stone eventually demonstrates the success of the environmental movement and provides useful forethought as to where the movement is certainly going. Notwithstanding some contradictory arguments, and even sometimes fallacious statements; Stone's position is normally to the point, valid, and comprehensive. Throughout this text Stone articulates a rather esoteric idea in a very apprehensive manner. Consequently , "Should Trees Have Standing" is a book that can be grasped not only by those who are experts in the study of environmental regulation, but also by those who simply wish to supplement their environmental literacy. Nonetheless, this work will always serve as basis for advocates and many others who concern by themselves with the study of environmental law.
Summary of Literature-
Stone commences the novel with the proposition that society ought to do the "unthinkable" by investing legal rights into the authority of natural objects. He acknowledges located on behalf of the forests, oceans, and waterways. Stone also identifies that this recognition is yet to become common general opinion amongst the masses. However, he maintains an idealistic view in regards to the success of the environmental movement. The quotation, "we have become so accustomed to the thought of corporations having legal standing, that we forget how jarring the idea was going to early jurists. " emphasizes that law is not static. It provides the possibility that perhaps the environmental movement could parallel the achievements of the business movement, and that future people may accept legal standing rights for the environment similar to which they do in regards to corporate standing. Next, Stone's focus broadens as he investigates the need for legal standing not only amongst trees, but also for the climate, agricultural, and marine systems. Degradation of the earth's climate is becoming an increasingly certain environmental issue. Stone identified that "those who are concerned about the ongoing future of the environment have no lack of reasons to be concerned. Atmospheric accumulations of carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons are intimidating the climate and ozone shield. " Moreover, similar circumstances are highlight in regards to the situations of the agricultural and marine development. The quotation, "aquaculture, such as doing some fishing, used to be just a hunter gather practice. nevertheless the modern trend is to heavily farm the seas and inland waters, much the same as we have over-farmed the land" identifies that human beings have increasingly been aggregating both land and water supplies since the hunter gather procedures of past generations. Consequently , the need for legal standing rights for natural objects is becoming increasingly important with respect to increasing environmental damage. Moreover, it was not enough for Stone to only evaluate the current conditions of environmental law and also to suggest legal standing be provided with to natural objects. Furthermore, Stone proposed remedies where this individual felt would best advance the environmental movement and the conditions of the world's commons. Stone's offer first identified that perhaps a form of legal representation would benefit the environment. This is referred to as the Guardian, whose position was original created and identified in the Maltese Offer. A guardian would talk on behalf of natural objects who could evidently not are left out for obvious resons, and would therefore see to the representation of the environment's interests. Secondly, Stone proposed the creation of a Global Common Trust Finance, or a GCTF to finance the first offer of guardianship. He looks at the advantages of having a fund that is not constructed and influenced by voluntary donations, such as the previous funds were. Nonetheless, the Guardian proposal would provide safety to the environment, specifically the commons, and the GCTF would be the mechanism to support it financially. Lastly, Stone left a comment in regards to the overall livelihood or dying of the environmental movement. There needs to be a change in individual beliefs and how people evaluate their impact on the entire world. Despite slow progress, Stone concludes by identifying that environmentalist efforts are at their best, and therefore appear to be alive.
Foregoing Stone's proposal, one must look at the depth of his arguments. First, Stone provides strong support to rationalize the position of the Guardian. Stone recognizes that an environmental Guardian would be no different than the other types of Guardians that legal systems often embrace. The quote " Such a guardian is not inconsistent with guardians pleading for other passions and values" reflects the fact that Guardians have been embraced outside environmental law. It is not uncommon for a Guardians used in respect to the aid of those under 18, developmentally disabled persons, and even incapacitated seniors. Consequently , the Guardian principle has certainly been embraced under many legal circumstances. Perhaps it is then good to recognize a Guardian in regards to an environmental context as well. Secondly, Stone goes on to question who the Guardians should be. This provides additional support to his argument since it helps visitors conceptualize the inherent issues of having government-operated Guardians. The quote, "a strong argument can be made for establishing a Guardian as an NGO, thereby providing it a freer hands to criticize and supplement the activities of government" identifies that it would be best if Guardians worked unilateral to the government. This claim is important because if Guardian's were operated by the government, it would present the risk of the functions becoming a political instrument or even swayed from political subjectivity. This would certainly hinder the effectiveness of Guardians. On the contrary, a non governmental agency tends to make the best Guardian because they are more free to scrutinize the actions of the government. Stone provides strong support for the guardian position. Moreover, this individual also presents strong fights in regards to the Global Commons Trust Finance proposal. It is important to emphasize the reality that the GCTF is not only a creative consumer tax, but rather it is an instrument used to ensure the sustainability of the global commons. Stone identifies that the GCTF "simply seeks from users of the global commons a reasonable fee to be able to apply it back to the commons". This specific is important because state-nations receive benefits from paying in to the program and would therefore be more inclined to obliged by its provisions. Money collected from a wrongdoer will be used in respect to the recovery of the commons, rather than conventional litigation which would waste financial resources of both the defendant and the plaintiff. Foregoing these arguments and the intricacy of the subject, one must finally look at the quality of the text. Stone provides great insight with respect to thorough legal matters. He performs this all while maintaining relatively understandable language. This is important for the entire success of the environmental movement because it provides those who haven't studied law a foundation to which they can commence to develop their environmental literacy.
Plainly a reader must look at the strength of Stone's position, however one must further recognize that some fights were poorly addressed through the text. Let us all first view the inherent problems that are credited to Stone's proposal in connection with implementation of a Guardian. In accordance with Stone, "The offer contemplates appointment of an eminent person, without known prejudice, having practical intelligence, integrity, moderation and humility. " This can be a definition that at first glance appears to be whole, however it increasingly becomes questionable when looked at thorough. The accessibility of these qualities seems rather subjective. For example, it would be problematic if two countries couldn't agree after what constitutes "moderation and humility". Certainly there would then be a great deal of problems credited the the Guardian's visit process, such as creating international consensus as to who best constitutes the the Guardian position. We should therefore recognize that Stone's offer embodies some inherent problems. To further support this, Stone identifies that "the bulk of the efforts will require concerted and supportive action among nations". However, he then goes to weaken his own position by identifying that "the Kyoto process has proved this is hard to achieve. " This is important to note because it is obvious through precedent that nation-states in many cases are reluctant to ascend to treaties that may well not directly benefit them. When the costs of a treaty outweigh its benefits, certainly a nation-state will be unlikely to participate. The Kyoto protocol stresses this point because it has failed to bind one of the largest polluter in the world, the United States. Therefore, evidently there have been, and likely will be more problems regarding international general opinion for many environmental issues. Furthermore, we must contemplate weaknesses in regards to Stone's preservation argument. This individual proposes that Guardians maintain the environment for future generations. However, this too is inherently problematic because involves the discretion of current generations with respect to their perceived value of certain objects. This is identified in the quote "in predicting the value future persons will attach to an environmental legacy, under estimation is at least as much of a trap as over estimations. " The problem is that what we perceive to be of important now, may well not necessarily be held of similar value by future generations. Clearly this weakens Stones argument because the preservation has proven itself to be a type of guessing game. Lastly, one must also recognize that Stone's position is vulnerable by the fallacies incorporated in his arguments. Within particular, his space debate is questionably a smooth slope and appears to be an exaggeration of current fact. Stone covers "Tapping the wealth of the planets" and "auctioning space slot machines that would yield several hundred millions annually. " Might be this argument will become reality or of relevance sometime in the future. However, this is certainly not just a current issue. The debate appears to be much fetched, and so it's presence weakens Stone's overall position.
Summary/ General Evaluation-
In summary, Stone's core thesis is that natural objects should be granted legal rights as well as standing to ensure a larger recognition of their rights. Stone identified remedies to which he felt would best advance the environmental movement. Stone first proposed that guardianship is essential for the protection and preservation of the atmosphere. Then he claimed that a Global Commons Trust Finance would finance this organization. To reconcile the strengths and weaknesses of his proposal, it would appear that Stone effectively argues his position. Stone acknowledges the limitations of regulation, and notes that the legal process is not necessarily a whole solution. Notwithstanding some contradictory arguments, and even sometimes fallacious statements; Stone's position is generally concise, valid, and extensive. Therefore, Stone's novel "Should Trees Have Standing" is an overall success. It truly is without a doubt that this text will remain a seminal piece of materials in the environmental movement., Published just two weeks before the Gulf Olive oil disaster, the updated " Should Trees Possess Standing?: Law, Morality, and the Environment " takes on extra value in arguing that the environment itself has an important place in the debate over how much human damage should be tolerated.
First published in 1972, author Christopher D. Stone's arguments have taken on new urgency, laying away a case that environmental issues can't be seen only from the human perspective which trees, the land and the normal water are themselves worth rights. This edition updates his initial argument, noting that his original argument appeared over the top 37 years ago, but have earned fans and legal support. As he notes, the argument that streams or forests have no standing because they don't talk has no meaning when companies are granted rights alongside people. Part of the argument is that future generations of individuals have the right to a quality atmosphere but Stone's argument runs deeper, explaining current case law and the tussle over the definition of legal standing. He also assesses the place and success and failure of environmentalism itself.
This is an honest look at the effects of his own argument, a good legal analysis of what the courts and individuals have decided to accept and a forward-looking assessment of what could come next. Registrants of environmental issues, attorneys as well as others will find this book a valuable tool in understanding the issues beyond the consequences of poisoned normal water or destroyed mountain tops on humans and into a eco-centric view of what we should be doing.
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