The International Association of Constitutional Law || l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel

Select your language

Go to research group website

New publication

 Science and the legal rights of nature (Science.org)

Upcoming symposium

Join us on 9 October 2023 online or in Helsinki for a symposium on the challenges and synergies in biodiversity and animal law.


The purpose of this research group is to develop an international network of researchers concerned with constitutional aspects of rights of nature and animals. Rights of nature and animals encompasses the changes in various legal regimes ranging from the constitutional to the municipal level where nature, either as a whole or as discrete natural entities, and animals as individuals or species, are regarded as rights-bearers or legal subjects. During the past decade and a half, non-human natural entities such as these have become legal subjects in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world. This network will enable academic exchange from a constitutional perspective to contribute the theoretical grounding to understand these legal developments and how they might be effective.

This research group seeks to address constitutional and other legal challenges that are developing in the wake of new rights recognitions. These rights present challenges to longstanding ideas about who can be a legal subject, how they can be represented and what their place is in a democracy. Animal and nature rights have further been recognized as a transnational legal development where different jurisdictions are influenced by each other, which also necessitates an international research network. An international network enables us to address these challenges from multiple angles and has the potential to fertilize further research. We seek to facilitate and create a forum for cooperation, a meeting hub where scholars can initiate new and innovative cooperative research on rights of nature.

This research group will:

  • Contribute to organizing an international conference on constitutional perspectives on rights of nature and animals.
  • Host a seminar series where scholars can present their research within an academic setting. Hosting seminars via Zoom will create a more sustainable and inclusive forum for international exchange.
  • Facilitate an inclusive forum for researchers to meet with stakeholders who are practically engaging with different rights-initiatives and who are well-situated to inform academia of the challenges of nature and animal rights in different institutional settings.
  • Provide a space to initiate and co-host workshops between different universities, including in countries where rights of nature proposals have been enacted or are being considered


- Eva Albers, KU Leuven, Belgium
- Marina Baptista Rosa, University of Helsinki, Finland
- María Valeria Berros, Centro de Investigaciones FCJS, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina
- Julien Bétaille, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, France
- David Bilchitz, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
- Harsh Vardhan Bhati, Uppsala University Faculty of Law, Sweden
- Malin Brännström, Silver Museet, Sweden
- Elin Boyer, Uppsala University Faculty of Law, Sweden
- Laura Burgers, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Cezary Błaszczyk, University of Warsaw, Poland
- David Cordero-Heredia, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Ecuador
- Marianne Dahlén, Uppsala University Faculty of Law, Sweden
- Benjamin Davy, TU Dortmund University, Germany, and University of Johannesburg, South Africa
- Hugo Echeverría, Universidad de los Hemisferios, Ecuador
- Victoria Enkvist, Uppsala University Faculty of Law, Sweden
- Yaffa Epstein, Uppsala University Faculty of Law and Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden
- Hans Petter Graver, University of Oslo Faculty of Law, Norway
- Agnes Hellner, Stockholm University Faculty of Law, Sweden
- Katarina Hovden, University of Copenhagen
- Carwyn Jones, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
- Eva Bernet Kempers, University of Antwerp, Belgium
- Giuseppe Martinico, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy
- Dag Michalsen, University of Oslo Faculty of Law, Norway
- Nqobile S. Mnisi, Basadi Ba Molao, South Africa
- Vivek Mukherjee, Animal Law Centre, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India
- Franciszek Nowak, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
- Cecilia Oliveira, Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany
- Giacomo Giorgini Pignatiello, University of Siena, Italy
- Tomasz Pietrzykowski, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
- Michael Riegner, University of Erfurt, Germany
- Hendrik Schoukens, University of Ghent Department of European, Public and International Law, Belgium
- Ankita Shanker, University of Basel, Switzerland & University of Antwerp, Belgium
- Mihnea Tanasescu, Political Science Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
- Sophia de Vries, Radboud University Nijmegen Faculty of Law, Netherlands
- Amy P. Wilson, Animal Law Reform South Africa; University of Johannesburg, South Africa; University of the Western Cape, South Africa
- Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, The Åland Islands Peace Institute, Finland

Conveners/Steering Committee

-Professor Hugo Echeverría, Universidad de los Hemisferios, Ecuador
-Dr. Yaffa Epstein, Uppsala University Faculty of Law and Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden


  • Yaffa Epstein
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.