Journée d’étude RulNat

avec le soutien de PALOC, UMR 208 (IRD, MNHN)

Contested spaces. Animals, Activists and the Law

28 Septembre 2023 10h-17h

Amphithéâtre de paléontologie, Galerie de paléontologie et d’anatomie comparée

Jardin des plantes, MNHN 2 rue Buffon, Paris 5

organisée par Daniela Berti (CNRS, CESAH) et Anthony Good (University of Edinburgh)

10h00 – 12h30


Adam Reed, University of St Andrews : Disciplines of Investigation in Animal Activism

Discussant: Véronique Bouillier (CNRS, CESAH)

Krithika Srinivasan, University of Edinburgh, and Guillem Rubio Ramon University of Edinburgh: Thought experiments on free-living dogs, law & planetary health

Discussant : Frédéric Landy (Université Paris Nanterre)

14h30 – 17h00

Mihnea Tănăsescu, University of Mons: Animal Reintroductions and the Politics of Purity: the case of the European Bison

Discussant : Sarah Benabou (IRD, PALOC)

Kieran O’Mahony, Czech Academy of Science: Feral landscapes and the messy (bio)politics of resurgent (porcine) life 

Discussant : Anthony Good (University of Edinburgh)

Recent decades have seen a growing, worldwide judicialisation of discussions concerning environmental issues, including debates over the legal status of animals, and their conservation. These arise in a variety of contexts. In some cases the effort is to contain feral species or vermin (like street dogs or rats), and in other cases to increase numbers in the wild (wolves, bison). In other cases (wild boar, beavers) particular species are being reintroduced in some parts of the world while simultaneously facing containment measures in others. Such processes may also be motivated by economic rather than ecological considerations (birds of prey or other predators).

Such debates are likely to involve a broad spectrum of protagonists, including professional lawyers and judges, perhaps acting on their own initiative through public interest litigation, politicians, state officials functioning at different levels, NGOs and individual activists, journalists, priests, and of course, land-owners and other representatives of vested interests who feel threatened by specific proposals. Activists themselves often display strong ideological and political differences regarding strategies for rewilding, reintroducing or conserving threatened or locally-extinct species. Consequently, such issues become matters of general public debate and can only be understood by taking into account their broad institutional, socio-cultural, political and legal contexts.

<<full program>>

Ruling on Nature. Animals and the Environment before the Court

organized by Daniela Berti, Vanessa Manceron et Sandrine Revet

June 30 – July 2 2022

Campus Condorcet, Bâtiment de Recherche Sud

5, Cours des Humanités – room 0.033 (ground floor)

Aubervilliers Metro: Front Populaire (Line 12)

General Schedule

Thursday, June 30

9.30 am: Coffee and Welcome

10am-12.30 pm: Monitoring and Punishing  

  • Vanessa Manceron (CNRS, LESC) & Giovanni Gugg (Rulnat, LAPCOS): The Vigilantes of the Dawn. Ethnography of Bird Protection Activism in the Naples area, Italy
  • Gaëlle Ronsin (ENS, CAK) & Jérôme Michalon (CNRS, Triangle): Exceptional or Routinized Judiciarization? Registers of Expertise and Mobilization about the Judgment of Mistreatments on Seals

 Discussant: Véronique Bouillier (CNRS, CEIAS)

2pm- 5pm: The Rights of Nature 

  • Mihnea Tanasescu (University of Bruxelles): Understanding the Rights of Nature: A Critical Introduction
  • Claire Duboscq (Rulnat, CERI): Judicializing Colombia’s Nature: Making Nation through Law?
  • Pierre Brunet (University La Sorbonne): Rights of Nature: A Multilevel Tool Box

Discussant: Isacco Turina (University of Bologna)

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Friday, July 1

10am-12.30pm: Scientific Expertise and the Court

  • Daniela Berti (CNRS,CEH): Connecting Tigers: Scientific Reports and Wildlife Politics in India
  • Sandrine Revet (CERI, SciencesPo): Equipping One’ s Claim. Expertise and Protection of the Rights of Nature and of Local Communities in the Atrato Region of Colombia

Discussant: Carolina Angel Botero (University of Los Andes, Bogota)

2pm-5pm: Of Categories and Definitions

  • Ritwick Dutta (National Green Tribunal, LIFE): India’s Three Pest Campaign: Implications of Categorising Animals as Vermins
  • Mara Benadusi (University of Catania): Running Amok. Wildness, Domestication and Captivity in Legal Struggles over Proboscideans in Sri Lanka
  • Anthony Good (University of Edinburgh): Wildcats or Wind Farms? Competing Environmental Priorities in Rural Scotland

Discussant: Joëlle Smadja (CNRS, CEH)

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Saturday, July 2

10am-12.30 pm: Activism and the Use of Law

  • Pia Bailleul (Rulnat, CEH): Radioactive Minerals in Greenland: Geological, Legal and Political Fluctuations of Nuclearity (1950-2022)
  • Karine Peschard (Geneva Academy of IHLH): Seed Activism: Challenging Biotech Patents in the Courts in Brazil and India

Discussant: Chiara Letizia (University of Montréal)

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Link to full program and abstracts