River is Now a 'Person'
In New Zealand they have declared a river is a ‘legal person’ ... in a move believed to be a world-first.
It means the Whanganui River will have its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.
The move follows a long-running legal fight by the local Maori tribe to assert their rights over the river.
Image: Duane Wilkins [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
In practical terms, it means the river can be represented at legal proceedings with two lawyers protecting its interests, one from the Maori tribe and the other from the government.
I wonder what would happen if we made the Murray and Darling Rivers ‘legal’ persons as well?
Who would they sue first ... pollution, tampering with water flows...