Jim Olson on Regaining Legal Rights to Your Commons
"Attorney Jim Olson, Esq., the Founder/Director of the NGO Flow for Water, describes how people can protect their Commons using laws at the core of western legal systems. He describes how the Public Trust Doctrine is a crucial element of law requiring government to act on behalf of people’s wellbeing.
He describes how climate change, beach access and water quality are all related: we share them, and the law protects the rights of people to use and enjoy their Commons.
The Public Trust Doctrine can be used by people to reverse bad decisions by government – and reverse the overreach by corporations that have taken away access to many Commons from the public.
Many other legal systems have elements requiring legitimate governments to act for the wellbeing of people – including indigenous peoples’ ancient codes. Indigenous codes also often recognize the common wellbeing of ecosystems as a fundamentally important aspect of protecting people’s wellbeing.
Reinvigorated courts are an important part of the action needed: courts need to stop deferring to executive branch expertise that has often been co-opted by industry. Instead, courts need to get ‘back in the game’ when governance fails … "
- see also the The Commons film at Commons - Documentary