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UVic’s Ideafest: The law should treat natural features like people, scholar says – Times Colonist

by ahnationtalk on March 7, 2018157 Views

When Canadian law treats corporations like people, it’s easy to believe natural features like rivers or mountains deserve similar rights, says a UVic legal scholar.

“In New Zealand, there is a recognition that a river can have a legal personality,” said John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law in the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law.

“So in accordance with Maori law, that river can even be consulted, and there is Crown recognition of that.”

Borrows and Val Napoleon, the Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, will speak Thursday at an Ideafest session titled The Role of the Sacred in Indigenous Law and Reconciliation.

Borrows said the topic arose in part because of a November decision of the Supreme Court of Canada allowing the development of a ski resort in the B.C. Interior.

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