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The Right of Nonuse$
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Jan G. Laitos

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386066.001.0001

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Toward a Third Generation of Nonanthropocentric Resource Nonuse Laws

Toward a Third Generation of Nonanthropocentric Resource Nonuse Laws

(p.118) 12 Toward a Third Generation of Nonanthropocentric Resource Nonuse Laws
The Right of Nonuse

Jan G. Laitos

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the first- and second-generation resource laws are self-limiting because they conceive of nature and natural resources as goods that have no inherent value, and instead deserve legal protection only to satisfy human use preferences and nonuse needs. It suggests that an entirely new, third-generation perspective may now be in order that does not simply view looming environmental crises through a traditional human rights focus. A nonanthropocentric right of nonuse, held by the resource, gives legal credibility to the notion that natural resources left in a natural state are a condition to all life on earth, not just human life. With planetary ecological bankruptcy now a real threat, the creation of an entirely different, ecocentric relationship between law and natural resources may now be in order.

Keywords:   resource law, environmental law, right of nonuse, human rights

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