BP sued in Ecuador for violating the "rights of Nature"

Ecuador's recent constitutional recognition of the "rights of Nature" is getting its first major workout in a groundbreaking lawsuit against BP: "This morning we filed in the constitutional court of Ecuador this lawsuit defending the rights of nature in particular the right of the Gulf of Mexico and the sea which has been violated by the BP oil spill. We see this as a test case of the rights of nature enshrined in the constitution of Ecuador--it's about universal jurisdiction beyond the boundaries of Ecuador because nature has rights everywhere."

BP Sued in Ecuadorian Court For Violating Rights of Nature (Thanks, Jeff!)


  1. Universal Jurisdiction on environmental damage, now that could be a good earner if they pull it off.

    But really it is not like BP aren’t paying for what they’ve done. So far it has cost them in the region of $30bn, and they face numerous lawsuits from people who have real jurisdiction and suffered actual damages. http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/BP-lawsuits/19512281/

    Obviously it would be better if it hadn’t happened at all, but compare this to Union Carbide/Bhopal or Exxon Valdez, I think BP come out of it pretty well.

    1. This implies Ecuador is claiming jurisdiction over Nature. And as Nature’s guardian, are they now accepting responsibility for everything Nature does? i.e So when Nature flattens my house, can I now sue it in Ecuadorian court and be paid by Ecuador?

      This seams like a bad plan.

      1. I think we all have jurisdiction over nature, and vice versa, not just Ecuador. Nature takes care of us, and we (should…) take care of nature, lest one of the two, and later on both, end up dieing out.

  2. Nice logic PJDK…. Yeah Lee Boyd Malvo really isn’t that bad when you compare him to Jeffery Dahmer or Ted Bundy… Good job BP!!

  3. I started to write then backed out of the browser, but I guess I’ll actually say it. This seems like a dangerous personification to me. Nature doesn’t have wants or needs and rights are about the same. It follows its own laws, the laws of physics, and could care less what we care to call the law. Although some biomass involved in the mess might have liked to be more alive than it is now (also a personification that has some of its own danger), the rest of the nature involved, the water, oil, dirt, don’t care one way or another. And trying to declare jurisdiction to be able to speak for the will of nature itself, strikes me as a very scary thing for anyone to claim the ability to do.

    1. You mean like saying the oil had been trapped for eons and BP recognized its basic rights and set it free from its subterranean prison?

  4. So, American and Mexican coast lines, fishing industries, beaches, ecosystems, etc get damaged and Ecuador sues for damage to the environment. Sounds like a scam if I ever heard one. What’s next, Suing Russia over Chernobyl?

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