Characteristics and Principles of Earth Jurisprudence

In ‘One in All: Characteristics and Principles of Earth Jurisprudence’ (EJ) (ewl, 35-44), Ian Mason delineates 4 characteristics and 3 principles of Earth jurisprudence:

  • Principles
    1. Wholeness–ie, everything’s connected; everything’s part of the whole
    2. Lawfulness–the universe is lawful
    3. Care–with freedom come ability; we are free and able to care or to destroy; ultimately, we could destroy ourselves
    • He observes the primacy of local knowledge while seeking global truths
    • EJ is common to both great traditions–for example: Christian love, Buddhist compassion, Hindu harmlessness–and indigenous beliefs
    • These principles apply whether gnostic or atheist
    • He notes two levels of jurisprudence: intimate and political–the former is written on the heart; the latter in statutes, hence the need for wild law
  • Characteristics
    • Life-centred, not anthropocentric
    • All of nature is a commons
    • Restorative (healing), not retributive (punishing), justice
    • Community ecological governance (CEG)
        • recognizes that:
          • elders are a treasure-trove of learned wisdom (urgent transfer of learned wisdom before the elders die out)
          • elders have learned to read nature (the ecology)
          • elders teach or guide the community
          • a sacred place is a living library of biodiversity
          • a sacred place is a living link in the long chain of evolution
          • such communities, though small and local, have much to teach the world at large
          • ‘human health and well-being are dependent upon the well being of the whole planet Earth.’
        • is informed by observing that:
          • community members can live well and simply without harming the environment
          • such living and learning is local and comes with great ecological awareness and often community cohesion
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