Sunday, 3 February 2013

Right me a river ... rivers as legal entities

My friend Denis over at The Nature of Robertson has just sent me the following.  I find it mind-boggling in the Australian context.  Would Australians ever let this happen here?  I certainly think it needs consideration.


“Your Honour, I appear for the Whanganui River” A river gets legal standing …

I am not a Lawyer - but this might be a ground-breaking precedent. 
Others can judge that, but it is worth considering.

Imagine the Murray Darling River taking Tony Burke to Court?

Denis Wilson


Bob Gosford | Sep 13, 2012 6:36AM | EMAIL | PRINT
A tribunal in New Zealand has recognised – perhaps for the first time in legal history – that a river has personality sufficient to allow it to be heard in a court of law.
As Kate Shuttleworth reported in the New Zealand Herald recently:
The Whanganui River will become an legal entity and have a legal voice under a preliminary agreement signed between Whanganui River iwi and the Crown tonight. This is the first time a river has been given a legal identity. A spokesman for the Minister of Treaty Negotiations said Whanganui River will be recognised as a person when it comes to the law – “in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests” … Under the agreement the river is given legal status under the name Te Awa Tupua – two guardians, one from the Crown and one from a Whanganui River iwi, will be given the role of protecting the river.
Read more on Bob Gosford's Blog

Denis Wilson
If you're not pissed off with the World, you're just not paying attention.
(Kasey Chambers)

"The Nature of Robertson"

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