Can a stretch of land be a person in the eyes of the law? Can a body of water?
In New Zealand, they can. A former national park has been granted personhood, and a river system is expected to receive the same soon.
The unusual designations, something like the legal status that corporations possess, came out of agreements between New Zealand’s government and Maori groups. The two sides have argued for years over guardianship of the country’s natural features.
Could this legal approach spread beyond New Zealand? Mr. Finlayson said he had talked the idea over with Canada’s new attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould.
h/t Dr J