Journal article

The Natural Contract: From Levi-Strauss to the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court

Erin Fitz-Henry

Oceania | WILEY | Published : 2012

Abstract

In 2008, the Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly became the first juridical body in the world to legalize what Michel Serres might have called a natural contract.' With the assistance of the U.S.-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, representatives at the Assembly in July of 2008 re-wrote their 1998 constitution to include a landmark series of articles delineating the rights of nature - a notion long familiar to Indigenous communities in the Andean region, actively propagated by anthropologists like Claude Lévi-Strauss at the French National Assembly as early as the 1970s, and often mocked by mainstream Western jurists for its conceptual confusion about the sorts of entities that ca..

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