Home  »  Networks  »  Special Interest Groups  »  Wild Law




Welcome to the Wild Law special interest group page. We invite you to join our group, attend our events and get actively involved! If you are interested please get in touch.


What is Wild Law?

Wild Law is a phrase coined by the lawyer and author Cormac Cullinan to describe a holistic approach to law and governance. This approach is based on principles of ecology, that all of life is an interconnected web of which human beings are only a part. It seeks to align law with ecology and the science of living systems. The current system of law and governance places human beings at the centre, and views us as separate from Nature. This view promotes the exploitation of Nature by seeing it as a resource base largely for the benefit of humans. This has led to the multiple environmental crises we now face.

>Read more

Events - What's coming up and what does the group do?

The 2020 Wild Law weekend did not go ahead this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We hope to run it in 2021 over the weekend of 28-31 May. It will be held in Pitlochry at the youth hostel.  Look out for more details coming early in 2021.

The 2019 Wild Law conference on a theme of 'Wild Law and Activism' was held at the University of Sussex on Saturday 9 November. 

The 2018 Wild Law conference was a joint event held with Bristol University on 21 September 2018. We were delighted to welcome expert speakers for a day of stimulating debate. Please see the link below to the speakers' slides from the event.

>Wild Law Conference 21 September 2018 - Speakers' slides

>Wild Law podcast with Planet Pod

Our events aim to promote the understanding of Wild Law and related concepts and attitudes, through fostering discussion and initiatives around how we can improve our relationship with Nature through Law. Our Wild Law Weekends hope that by being immersed in a more natural environment, participants can get a better understanding of the issues and develop creative ways of connecting Nature with Law. All members are encouraged to propose and help organise activities. Please contact us to join the group, which is open to all UKELA members.

Wild Law weekends

Our Wild Law weekends are always a popular highlight of the year.  Usually held in late May, we take the opportunity to head outdoors for a couple of days of walking and discussion, staying in comfortable hostel accommodation. 

The 2020 Wild Law weekend has been postponed until May 2021.  More details will be released in early 2021.

The 2019 Wild Law weekend took place in late May at Boggle Hole Youth Hostel, near Whitby in North Yorkshire. A mixed group of 22 delegates enjoyed an exhilarating weekend of walks, talks and companionship in the beautiful coastal countryside.

Our 2018 Wild Law weekend took place in the Lake District from 25 to 28 May based at the Coniston Coppermines youth hostel at the foot of Old Man of Coniston, now a World Heritage site. Read John Hunt's notes about the weekend below.

>John Hunt's Wild Law weekend 2018 notes

Please take a look at Matthew Terry's film of the 2017 Ben Nevis weekend (with thanks also to Simon Boyle) https://youtu.be/cgQeTzdF5R4

Since 2005, we have held weekends and events in many wonderful locations, including the Lake District, Northumberland, the Isle of Arran, the shores of Loch Lomond, the hills of Derbyshire, the South Downs, and many more. Read about them below.

>Wild Law weekend report by Colin Robertson
>Previous Wild Law weekends history

Organising a Wild Law weekend - policy and guidelines

Giving legal personality to Ben Nevis

Colin Robertson suggested the idea of giving Ben Nevis legal personality as UKELA Wild Law members joined members of the John Muir Trust for an evening at the Nevis Centre on Saturday 27 May 2017.
>Ben Nevis article

Does Wild Law already exist in Law?

In 2009, UKELA published the report 'Wild Law: is there any evidence of Earth Jurisprudence in Existing Law and Practice?' See below for link to report.

It looked selectively at environmental laws around the world and concluded that while some contained elements of Wild Law, none could be completely described as “wild.” However, environmental law is evolving, Wild Law has moved on. Laws that recognise Nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive, and renew her natural cycles exist in the following places:

>Wild Law Research report 2009

>Read more about Wild Law in current law

For further reading and background about Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence, follow the links below.

>Read more about our Wild Law activities and history

>Wild Law friendly organisations

NOW BOOKING November4 UKELA Annual Garner Lecture 2020 6pm
All events


For general information on environmental issues, visit our sister site Law and Your environment