1st Edition

The Ecological Constitution Reframing Environmental Law

By Lynda Collins Copyright 2021
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Ecological Constitution integrates the insights of environmental constitutionalism and ecological law in a concise, engaging and accessible manner.

    This book sets out the necessary components of any constitution that could be considered "ecological" in nature. In particular, it argues that an ecological constitution is one that codifies the following key principles, at a minimum: the principle of sustainability; intergenerational equity and the public trust doctrine; environmental human rights; rights of nature; the precautionary principle and non-regression; and rights and obligations relating to a healthy climate. In the context of the global environmental crisis that characterises the current Anthropocene era, these principles are important tools for changing consciousness and driving pragmatic policy reforms around the world. Re-imagining constitutions along these lines could play a vital role in the collective project of building a sustainable future for humans, animals, ecosystems and the biosphere we all share.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental law, ecological law, environmental constitutionalism, sustainability and rights of nature.

    1. Introduction: Constitutionalism in the Age of Ecological Law

    2. The Constitutional Imperative of Ecological Sustainability

    3. Human Rights in the Ecological Constitution

    4. Intergenerational Equity and the Public Trust Doctrine

    5. Rights of Nature in the Ecological Constitution

    6. Precaution and Non-Regression in the Ecological Constitution

    7. Ecological Constitutionalism in a Changing Climate

    8. Conclusion



    Lynda Collins is a Full Professor with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

    "Everyone interested in law’s contribution to building an ecologically just society should read The Ecological Constitution. Lynda Collins demonstrates in this superb book that constitutional evolution is a critical core of the ecological law transformation needed today. Her focused study takes us from theorizing ecological law to better understanding how to make it a reality. The Ecological Constitution should be required reading for students, scholars and practitioners of constitutional law." -- Carla Sbert, author of The Lens of Ecological Law: A Look at Mining, Canada

    "In her latest book, internationally renowned scholar Lynda Collins, eloquently reintroduces the idea of The Ecological Constitution. This important, beautifully written and timely work seamlessly weaves together different strands of the debate on ecological constitutionalism. It is a must-read exploration that serves as a stark reminder to us of the power of constitutions, of ‘alternative’ juridical forms of ecological care, and perhaps most importantly, of the unequivocal duty we owe to the entire vulnerable living order to take responsibility for our predatory eco-destructive actions, as well as the duty to chart more sustainable future pathways to live together more carefully and harmoniously." -- Louis J. Kotzé, Research Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa; and Senior Professorial Fellow in Earth System Law, University of Lincoln, United Kingdom 

    "This engaging and insightful book offers a blueprint for rewriting the ground rules of civilization." -- David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment