: Wild Law – In Practice

Wild Law – In Practice

Peter Boulot

Wild-Law-in-Practice-150Michelle Maloney and Peter Burdon; Routledge, 272 pp; $140 (hardcover)

What is Wild Law?

Is it being wild at the law? Many of us feel that way…

Or is it practicing law wildly? Many of us have wished that that were possible in such a closed profession. Rather, in fact, Wild Law is an inverted approach to law, one sourced in humility and mystery. But I hear your guffaws oh reader as you say, ‘Horseshit, that is an oxymoron. I’ve never met a lawyer that is humbled by the limitations of their profession’. Well, Wild Law is just that; the acceptance of a greater law which is based on cosmological constants and respect for life and of which our constructed legal systems only form a small part.

This book marks a transition from the ‘Deep Ecology’ theoretical roots of Wild Law to the acknowledgment that the movement must embrace not only an interconnected approach to ferment change but also that the real challenges lie in the enunciation of solutions to seemingly intractable problems. The 16 contributors offer different critiques and approaches to the possible enactment of ecological language and perception into our business, law and governance structures.

There is a consensus among the writers that the changes will have to be driven by an informed populace reasserting its fundamental democratic rights and responsibilities. As pointed out by Burdon, ‘Earth Jurisprudence is supportive of non-violent civil disobedience as a “bottom-up” strategy for creating “top-down” change’. Alternate worldviews that are based on interconnected and interdependent paradigms are readily accessible from indigenous cultures and the quantum scientific perspective to assist our progression.

It is an invaluable text not only for newcomers to Wild Law, or those who have long cherished hope for a sustainable future that acknowledges rights for nature, but also for those students of governance or those practitioners of business and law who need a ‘shot of love’ to reinvent their perspective on their profession and their lives. Ultimately, the power of the universe is intention and the responsibility for the present and the future is within our perception. Change is there for the asking. As Maloney states, ‘Wild law invites us to engage personally with the Universe story, to reconnect with the earth community and to find our place in the world via a deeper and more powerful connection to our home planet and our companions, whatever their species’.

PETER BOULOT teaches law at James Cook University and practises law in a wild manner.

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 146
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