ECW Press
(September 2017)



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David R. Boyd

A Legal Revolution That Could Save the World

An important and timely recipe for hope for humans and all forms of life

Palila v Hawaii. New Zealand's Te Urewera Act. Sierra Club v Disney. These legal phrases hardly sound like the makings of a revolution, but beyond the headlines portending environmental catastrophes, a movement of immense import has been building ? in courtrooms, legislatures, and communities across the globe. Cultures and laws are transforming to provide a powerful new approach to protecting the planet and the species with whom we share it.

Lawyers from California to New York are fighting to gain legal rights for chimpanzees and killer whales, and lawmakers are ending the era of keeping these intelligent animals in captivity. In Hawaii and India, judges have recognized that endangered species ? from birds to lions ? have the legal right to exist. Around the world, more and more laws are being passed recognizing that ecosystems ? rivers, forests, mountains, and more ? have legally enforceable rights. And if nature has rights, then humans have responsibilities.

In The Rights of Nature, noted environmental lawyer David Boyd tells this remarkable story, which is, at its heart, one of humans as a species finally growing up. Read this book and your world view will be altered forever.

David R. Boyd is an environmental lawyer, professor, and advocate for recognition of the right to live in a healthy environment.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Christian Dittus
Fritz AG


15. May 2017, Quote
This is a real-life legal thriller. Imagine constitutions and laws acknowledging that rivers and ecosystems have rights and cannot be owned by humans. Envision judges recognizing that sentient animals are ‘legal persons' and should no longer be regarded a


7. July 2017, Quote
Changing our laws to better reflect that laws of nature may be the only way to save the planet. David Boyd has written a brilliant call to arms to get behind a movement whose time has (finally, thankfully) come. -- Maude Barlow, author of Boiling Point


7. July 2017, Quote
David Boyd's new book explores one of the most ground-breaking legal ideas of our time. His stories about courageous people, remarkable laws, visionary lawsuits, and precedent setting court decisions are inspiring and welcome. -- Devon Page, Executive Dir


7. July 2017, Quote
The rights of nature movement is needed now more than ever, especially if we hope to ensure the well-being of Earth's species and ecosystems for this, and future, generations. David Boyd compellingly helps to chart that journey. -- Terry Tamminen, CEO of


1. September 2017, Review
Expertly written case studies in which legalese is accessibly distilled . . . are empowering reminders that the seemingly inevitable slide toward planetary destruction can be halted. Boyd persuasively shows that treating the law as an evolving instrument,

Publishers Weekly

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