“Green Justice, when nature files a complaint”, on Ushuaïa TV: green justice, white knight of the environment


For the first time, sharks filed a complaint with the courts, and obtained the conviction of their torturers, in 2019; for the first time, the French state was condemned for inaction in the face of climate change, in February …

While the COP26 ended on November 14 with a mixed record, new avenues of struggle, legal this time, are opening up to a generation of environmental activists, tired of the inaction of the policies.

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” Justice [est] one of the last levers that remain for us, the inhabitants of the Earth, of France, to push the rulers to react ”, explains Cécilia Rinaudo, general coordinator of what has been called “The Affair of the Century”, in a documentary which is admittedly imperfect, mainly for lack of precision, but which has the great merit of clearing up the horizon.

The archive images plunge the viewer back into the atmosphere of this first major climate trial in France. Among the complainants, Cécile Duflot, director of Oxfam France, does not dare believe it: “If it works, it will be great! “

In Ecuador, the rights of nature have been enshrined in the Constitution since 2008, along with human rights. This specificity allowed, among other things, the sharks of the Galapagos to file a complaint against the Chinese boat having violated the ban on fishing in Ecuadorian waters! But it could not prevent the government from authorizing, in 2016, a mining operation in the natural reserve of los Cedros … On the spot, the cameras follow the resistance fighters, happy to have all the same obtained, in 2018, the suspension of exploitation for “Absence of prior consultation of the inhabitants”.

A river, “living entity”

The documentary goes back and forth between the various cases followed, jumping from Ecuador to Poland, where Agata Szafraniuk, lawyer, tries to save one of the last primary forests on the planet; then in New Zealand, where the Whanganui River has been recognized since 2017 as a living entity.

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In France, an association would in turn like to create a “Parliament of the Loire” to represent the river and make it a legal entity. If the report to the members can, at times, seem fanciful, it allows the essayist and jurist Camille de Toledo an interesting historical reminder: at the end of the XIXe century, the legislator wondered if companies could have a legal personality.

This investigation in Val-de-Loire is also the occasion for a return – a little superficial, but nevertheless astounding – on the accidents which marked the operation of the nuclear power station of Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux (Loir- and-Cher). If the first, from 1969, is not mentioned, the second, in 1980, is presented as having caused nothing less than a leak of radioactive plutonium into the river for five years!

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Brief period images remind us that a sealing defect was invoked. Then the accident minimized. Until, in 2015, the boss of the plant recognized “Having deliberately dumped plutonium in the Loire” … without possible conviction, specifies Valérie Cabanes, co-founder ofassociation Our common concern, at the origin of “The Affair of the Century”, since there is now a prescription. The law also has its limits.

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Green Justice, when nature files a complaint, written by Stenka Quillet and Olivia Mokiejewski, directed by Stenka Quillet (Fr., 2021, 60 min). In replay for sixty days.

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“Green Justice, when nature files a complaint”, on Ushuaïa TV: green justice, white knight of the environment