MSU College of Law Hosting
Groundbreaking Conference on
“Rights of Nature”

August 28, 2023

Michigan State University College of Law will host a groundbreaking conference on September 14 focusing on elevating nature’s voice in the dialogue on human use of the environment. The Animal Law Program is spearheading this conference to bring together legal and environmental experts for an in-depth discussion on defining “Nature” from a legal and ethical perspective.

Coordinated by MSU Law College’s renowned animal law Professor David Favre, the day-long conference will explore the new global movement known as the “Rights of Nature.” This concept redefines environmental conservation and shifts the focus from nature as a resource to be exploited to nature as a legal living entity.

“It is important for humans to realize that nature does not exists separate from humans,” Professor Favre said. “A call for ‘Rights for Nature’ is based upon an ethical view that human should give much more weight to needs of other beings when deciding what to do within a particular habitat. While endangered species receive the protection of the law, the needs of all animals should be considered. If we want to acknowledge all the other beings that inhabit the earth, we must protect Nature.”

The conference will feature two sets of panelists from both the legal and non-legal perspective who will discuss what nature in legal terms might look like. Professor Favre shared that, “Our program will explore the issues and possible answers to the pivotal questions of ‘Why should nature have legal rights?” and “What legal rights might be created for nature’s self-protection.”

The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Castle Board Room (Room 343) in the College of Law Building, 648 North Shaw Lane in East Lansing. It is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Collaborating on this event with the Animal Law Program is the MSU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The event will be recorded and available to view after the conference.