People For Earth

Earth Jurisprudence Lecture Series

The ‘Earth Jurisprudence’ (EJ) Lecture Series, introducing Earth Jurisprudence in Korea, is aimed at finding solutions to resolve the harmful consequences, which come from the current human-centered industrialization, and to implement an environment favorable to research and the fostering of new abilities. Since 2015, lecture series has been held four times a year in partnership with the Pro Bono Center of One Law Partners. This lecture series constitutes a training program for judicial officers, lawyers and law-students, and is accredited by the Korean Bar Association (KBA) and responsible for playing important roles in transforming governance-systems.

2021 EJ Lecture 3. Comparison of Earth Law and Modern Law System
  • 2021-07-26
  • 451

The third session of the Earth Jurisprudence lecture series 2021 was with the title “Lecture 3 'Comparison of Earth Law and Modern Law System”.


1. Development of the UN and Earth Charter discussions

○ 1972. Stockholm Declaration: The preface to the Stockholm Declaration states that human life must be in harmony with nature; 1982. United Nations World Charter for Nature: Declaration of a Code of Conduct for natural habitat and the protection and conservation of resources.


○ 1973. ‘Deep Ecology’: a concept advocated by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss; an environmental philosophy which promotes the inherent worth of all living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, plus the restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas.


○ 1987, Our Common Future (also known as the Bruntland Report): was published by United Nations through the Oxford University Press. The report defined 'sustainable development' as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

1992 The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (RD): a document that defines principles for the relationship of states to each other and the relationship between states and their citizens in the field of environment and development.

2000. The Earth Charter: has sections (called pillars) with sixteen main principles containing sixty-one supporting principles. The document opens with a preamble and ends with a conclusion entitled “The Way Forward”. The four pillars of the Earth Charter are; I. Respect and Care for the Community of Life; II. Ecological Integrity; III. Social and Economic Justice; and IV. Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace.


2. Proposal of Earth Jurisprudence, Vision of the Geological Era

Moving from a modern worldview to a new worldview, law, and governance, it presupposes ‘a mutually promoting relationship between the earth and humans’ 

Earth jurist Thomas Berry (1914-2009): said “Rights come with being. Where there is being, there are rights.”

He also stated that every member of the global community has three rights: the right to exist, the right to habitat, and the right to fulfill one's role in the great community of beings.

Thomas Berry defined the modern age as the ‘age of science and technology’ and the era of new emergence as the ‘ecological age’, and said that the ‘ecological age’ can come when the relationship between humans and the earth is restored.


3. Significance of Earth Community and Earth Jurisprudence

  In order to transform into an ecological age and global civilization, it is necessary to regenerate the subjectivity of nature and build a global community through interaction and solidarity with humans.


When specific organisms become extinct and biodiversity is damaged, food crises and ecosystem collapse follow, which is directly related to the financial risk of companies. From the Earth Jurisprudence’s perspective, more and more companies are making efforts to not harm biodiversity.


2009. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 22 April as International Mother Earth Day. The same year, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Harmony with Nature.

09. 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

〈Picutre 1〉 UN Sustainable Development Goals: 17 Goals to Transform Our World