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GSSC Seminar Series
8 April 2024


Rights of Nature in Ecuador - A Blueprint for Environmental Justice?

Dirk Hanschel, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Rights of nature and related concepts are increasingly being discussed as possible tools to do more justice to our natural environment in times of stress and at the same time to shift the focus from anthropocentrism to eco-centrism. My research serves to examine how legislators, courts and other actors in Ecuador and elsewhere make use of such concepts and what the inherent chances and limitations might be.


Dirk Hanschel was trained at law schools in Germany, the UK and Australia, took his doctoral and postdoctoral degrees at Mannheim University and is currently a professor of German, European and International Public Law at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Since 2019 he has been a Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Anthropology. In 2021 he was appointed Martin Flynn Global Law Professor at UConn Law School. His research focuses, inter alia, on topics of international environmental and human rights law, comparative constitutional law, as well as law and anthropology. He currently conducts an interdisciplinary project on “Environmental Rights in Cultural Context” and on rights of nature in Ecuador and Columbia, looking at novel rights-based approaches to environmental protection from local perspectives.