A Legal Personality for the St. Lawrence River and other Rivers of the World

Author(s):Yenny Vega Cárdenas, Daniel Turp



Number of pages:544



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In the wake of the recognition of the Whanganui River in New Zealand, the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in India, the Yarra River in Australia and the Atrato River in Colombia as «subjects of rights», the International Observatory on Nature’s Rights has initiated a reflection on the possibility of recognizing the St. Lawrence River, the «path that walks» as it is called by the First Nations, as a «legal person». The texts in this collective work deal with the implications of attributing a legal personhood and rights to the St. Lawrence River, delve into the epistemological foundations of the paradigm of the recognition of the rights of Nature and present concrete cases of recognition of rivers as subjects of law.

Written by experts from several countries where the recognition of the legal personhood of rivers has occurred to date, they take an in-depth look at the challenges and contributions of this paradigm shift in river protection. This book answers questions about the implications of such recognition and contributes to the process of building a new law that has just begun in Quebec and Canada with the adoption in February 2021 of resolutions conferring the status of «legal person» on the MagPie/ Muteshekau Shipu River located on the North Shore of Quebec and on the Nitassinan (ancestral territory) of two Innu communities, Ekuanitshit and Uashat mak Mani-utemam.

Contributions : Inès Bennada, David Cordero Heredia, Teresa Vicente Giménez, Stratégies Saint-Laurent, Isabelle Delainey, Uapukun Mestokosho, Sylvain Gaudreault, Andrew Galliano, Nathalia Parra, Bianca De Marchi Moyano, Hugo Muñoz, Danaé Espinoza, Erin O’Donnell, Brettel Dawson, Shrishtee Bajpai, Rébecca Pétrin, Sokhna Sene, Victor David, Daniel Turp and Yenny Vega Cárdenas.

Daniel Turp

Daniel Turp

Daniel Turp is an emeritus professor at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal and a research associate of the International Observatory on Nature’s Rights. He holds a doctorate (summa cum laude) from the Université de droit, d’économie et de sciences sociales de Paris (Paris II). He is Chairman of the Board of the Quebec Society of International Law and President of the Quebec Association of Constitutional Law. He was a member of the Canadian House of Commons and the Quebec National Assembly. He is the author of the book La Constitution québécoise- Essais sur le droit du Québec de se doter de sa propre loi fondamentale published by Éditions JFD in 2013.

Publication(s) by this author

Yenny Vega Cárdenas

Yenny Vega Cárdenas

Ms Yenny Vega Cárdenas is President of the International Observatory on Nature’s Rights, based in Montreal, and is a member of the UN network of experts for the Harmony with Nature chapter. She is a membe of the Quebec Bar and a lawyer in Colombia. She holds a Master’s degree in business law and a Ph.D. in Water Law and Governance. She is the author of the book La construction sociale du statut juridique de l’eau : le cas du Québec et du Mexique published by JFD in 2015.

Publication(s) by this author

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