THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF NATURE – A GOAL OF THE 3RD MILLENNIUM
Nasty Marian Vladoiu
The first country that adopted the constitutional rights of nature was the Republic of Ecuador in 2008. This Constitution contains in Title II, Chapter VII, named Rights of nature, 4 (four) articles (71 74), which contain all the hope and obvious progress achieved in this respect.
The constitution of this country states, inter alia, that "nature has the right to exist, to persist, to maintain and to renew its life cycles, structures, functions, and evolutionary processes". At the same time, it mentions that the right to restoration is independent of the “obligation of the State and natural persons or legal entities to compensate individuals and communities that depend on affected natural systems.”
The paper addresses the issue of the rights of nature and expresses the view that more and more countries should adopt internal legislation to protect them through the National Criminal Codes, and criminalize offenses like ecocide.
Once the criminal protection of the rights of nature is assured, we can assume that the premises of the constitutional enshrinement of the rights of nature are met. Only upon criminal protection and/or legislation subsequent to the fundamental law we can talk about having a protectionist framework to a certain extent, but for a very effective protection it is a must for the rights of nature to be enshrined at constitutional level.
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