Skip to main content

The Use of Earth Jurisprudence Against Anthropogenic Marine Environmental Disasters in Sri Lanka

  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online:
International Handbook of Disaster Research
  • 32 Accesses

Abstract

Earth jurisprudence is a philosophy of law and governance that perceives human beings only as a part of the wider Earth community. It emphasizes the necessity of deviating from the legal frameworks which keep the protection of human interests as its core objective. Today, more than nine jurisdictions around the world have embraced Earth jurisprudential principles through various constitutional, legislative, judicial, and institutional means. In May 2021, Sri Lanka faced one of the worst maritime environmental disasters in its history as “MV X-Press Pearl,” a Singaporean containership, burnt for several days just outside the port of Colombo with tons of hazardous and highly reactive chemicals, bunker oil, and containers carrying plastic pellets aboard. The incident which occurred in shallow waters endowed with high biodiversity caused unprecedented and irreversible damage to the marine environment, species, and resources. It reiterated that environmental disasters affect not only human beings but all other living and nonliving species who share the planet with them. Therefore, it is unequivocal that these nonhuman beings shall be empowered to protect themselves against anthropogenic environmental disasters. This paper ascertains how Earth jurisprudence can be used to protect the oceans and ocean species in Sri Lanka from anthropogenic maritime disasters and to remedy the damage that they have already sustained. The author utilized the black letter approach to research and international and comparative research methodology to carry out the research. The article mainly focuses on Sri Lanka and refers to Ecuador, New Zealand, and India in drawing lessons for law reform. The article will provide guidance to protect the Sri Lankan oceans for more than the instrumental values that they hold.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • A Periyakaruppan v The Principal Secretary to Government WP(MD) No. 18636 of 2013 and WP (MD) No. 3070 of 2020 (Madras High Court 2022).

    Google Scholar 

  • Berry, T. (1999). The great work: Our way into the future.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berry, T. (2006). Legal conditions for Earth’s survival. In M. E. Tucker (Ed.), Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as a Sacred Community (pp. 107–112) Sierra Club Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Booth, A. L. (2008). Environment and nature: The natural environment in native American thought. In H. Selin (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-western cultures (pp. 798–810). Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bosselmann, K. (2017). The principle of sustainability: Transforming law and governance. Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bulankulama v Secretary, Ministry of Industrial Development 3 Sri LR 243 (Supreme Court of Sri Lanka 2000).

    Google Scholar 

  • Burdon, P. (2010). Wild law. Alternative Law Journal, 35(2), 62–65.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Burdon, P. (2011). Great jurisprudence. In P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 59–78). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burdon, P. (2012). A theory of earth jurisprudence. Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, 37, 28–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burdon, P. D. (2014). Earth jurisprudence: Private property and the environment. Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Cashford, J. (2011). Dedication to Thomas Berry. In P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 3–11). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd v Anura Satharasinghe and Others C.A. (Writ) 291/2015 (Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka 2020).

    Google Scholar 

  • Centre for Environmental Justice and Others v Marine Environment Protection Authority and Others, SC(FR) Application (Supreme Court of Sri Lanka 2021).

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, T., & Esterling, S. (2019). Fluid personality: Indigenous Rights and the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017 in Aotearoa New Zealand’ (2019). Melbourne Journal of International Law, 20, 197–220.

    Google Scholar 

  • Constitution of Ecuador 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cullinan, C. (2011). A history of wild law. In P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 12–34). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Edirisinghe, A., & Lim, M. (2021). A plea for survival: Can the return to eco-centrism strengthen the legal protection of nature in Sri Lanka? Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 24(2), 149–181.

    Google Scholar 

  • Filgueira, B., & Mason, I. (2011). Wild law: Is there any evidence of earth jurisprudence in existing law? In I. P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 192–203). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, No. 02 of 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, N. (2003). Lawscape: Paradigm and place in Australian property law (DPhil). University of Sydney.

    Google Scholar 

  • Guzmán, J. J. (2019). Decolonizing law and expanding human rights: Indigenous conceptions and the rights of nature in Ecuador. Deusto Journal of Human Rights, 4, 59–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hamilton, M. (2008). Restorative justice intervention in an environmental law context. Garrett v Williams.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins, K. (2015). Unearthing women’s anti-mining activism in the Andes: Pachamama and the “mad old women”. Antipode, 47(2), 442–460.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Koons, J. (2011). Key principles to transform law for the health of the planet. In P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 45–58). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lalit Miglani v State of Uttarakhand and others, 140 of 2015 (Uttarakhand High Court 2017).

    Google Scholar 

  • Marine Pollution Prevention Act, No. 35 of 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marshall, T. F. (1996). The evolution of restorative justice in Britain. European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, 4(4), 21–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mason, I. (2011). One in all: Principles and characteristics of earth jurisprudence. In I. P. Burdon (Ed.), Exploring wild law (pp. 35–44). Wakefield Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mohd Salim v State of Uttarakhand and others, 126 of 2014 (Uttarakhand High Court 2017).

    Google Scholar 

  • Naffine, N. (2009). Law’s meaning of life: Philosophy, religion, Darwin and the legal person. Hart Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Donnell, E. (2019). Legal rights for rivers: Competition, collaboration and water governance. Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Donnell, E. (2020). Rivers as living beings: Rights in law, but no rights to water? Griffith Law Review, 29(4), 643–668.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shelton, D. (2010). Human rights and the environment: Substantive rights. In M. Fitzmaurice, D. M. Ong, & P. Merkouris (Eds.), Research handbook on international environmental law (pp. 265–283). Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tănăsescu, M. (2020). Rights of nature, legal personality, and indigenous philosophies. Transnational Environmental Law, 9, 429–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tănăsescu, M. (2022). Understanding the rights of nature: A critical introduction. Transcript Verlag.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • The UN Environmental Advisory Mission, (2021) X-Press Pearl Maritime Disaster Sri Lanka.

    Google Scholar 

  • The State of Uttarakhand v Mohd Salim SLP (C) No. 16879/2017 (Supreme Court of India 2018).

    Google Scholar 

  • Worster, D. (1994). Nature’s economy: A history of ecological ideas. Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Asanka Edirisinghe .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this entry

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Edirisinghe, A. (2023). The Use of Earth Jurisprudence Against Anthropogenic Marine Environmental Disasters in Sri Lanka. In: Singh, A. (eds) International Handbook of Disaster Research. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8800-3_7-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8800-3_7-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-16-8800-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-16-8800-3

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Business and ManagementReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics