Thursday 31. August. The Legal Personality of Mar Menor. Encounter with Teresa Vicente
Dates: Thursday August 31st
The Mar Menor Lagune is the first ecosystem in Europe with own rights: The Popular Legislative Initiative that has given legal personality to the Laguna del Mar Menor and its basin. Law 19/2022, of September 30 (BOE October 3, 2022)
Teresa Vicente Giménez Professor of Philosophie of Law Director of the Chair of Human Right and Right of Nature University of Murcia
We need a radical response to the ecological disaster caused by humans on the planet, we need to rethink our anthropocentric model in favour of a new ecocentric model based on the relationships between humans and Nature, which recognizes ecological Justice as a new paradigm that has its roots in ecological awareness and ecological ethics. A new generation of rights is coming from the Ecological Justice: Rights of Nature. The mass mortality disaster in the Mar Menor in October 2019 and the strong environmental awareness that arose in the riverside population gave me the opportunity to draft a law proposal to recognize legal personality and a bill of rights for the salty coastal lagoon.
The recognition of legal personality and rights to the Mar Menor and its basin have been brought up by a social movement which promoted the Popular Legislative Initiative (PLI) claiming the rights of Nature for an ecosystem of great ecological value in danger. The reasons to propose a Popular Legislative Initiative that recognizes the legal personality of Mar Menor lagoon and its basin in order to grant its own rights are: the serious ecological damage that Mar Menor has suffered, the ineffectiveness of the current legal norms that pretend its protection, the inactivity of administration and, the empowerment of civil society to participate in environmental matters.
Teresa Vicente Giménez, Professor of Philosophy of Law, is Deputy Director of the Center for Cooperation and Development Studies (CECODE) of the University of Murcia. She is also Director of the Chair of Human Rights and Rights of Nature of the same University. Her teaching and research profile as a professor of Philosophy of Law is “Theory of Justice and Human Rights”. In this area, she has researched specifically on the new paradigm of Ecological Justice and the Rights of Nature. In this context, she has participated as a speaker in international and national congresses, conferences, and seminars, and has been invited to international meetings. She is the author of numerous publications addressing ecological justice, the rights of children, social rights, and the rights of Nature, among many others.
Teresa Vicente Giménez has been the leader of the Iniciativa Legislativa Popular (ILP) or Popular Legislative Initiative in Murcia that seeks to give legal personality to the Mar Menor lagoon and his entire basin. Mar Menor is the largest saltwater lake in Europe and has come under threat mainly due to water contamination resulting from the unchecked growth of agriculture and waters have become choked with algae. The 639,826 signatures gathered by the citizen movement throughout Spain became the key to open the process that will recognize the legal personality of Mar Menor. She defended before the Commission for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge of Congress the proposal of law to recognize the legal personality of the Mar Menor, and, on 5 April 2022, the Spanish Congress of Deputies overwhelmingly voted to expedite drafting of a law so that Mar Menor will have legal personality thus becoming the first ecosystem in Europe with his own rights.
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Event held onsite: Donaustr. 84, 12043 Berlin