Earth System Litigation: The Legal Personality of Earth

This article discusses the challenges associated with the conceptualisation of Earth as possessing legal personality. Establishing the Earth’s legal personality could help avoid crossing planetary boundaries. These planetary boundaries are nine processes (eg. climate change, biosphere integrity) that make the Earth system stable and resilient. Recently, legal scholarship has begun to investigate how to incorporate the concept of planetary boundaries within international environmental law by adopting a theoretical approach. This article enriches this discussion by pursuing a more litigation-oriented path. It investigates whether granting legal rights to Earth could be a viable option to avoid the risk of crossing the planetary boundaries. Specifically, our article aims to critically assess the possible implementation of this idea by identifying (a) the possible claims in its support, (b) the associated challenges and (c) whether some regulatory solutions could mitigate these challenges.