EMBASSY OF THE NORTH SEA
LEGAL INNOVATION: THE NORTH SEA SPEAKS
The sea and life in the sea is its own entity, that is the viewpoint of the Embassy of the North Sea. A mock court in the Peace Palace in The Hague became the final step in establishing the Embassy of the North Sea (2018-2022). Its mission is to give nature a position in our culture, politics and legal system. This experiment investigated how non-human voices could be heard in a courtroom. Human and non-human witnesses were called and spoke on behalf of facets of the North Sea. The Embassy first wanted to learn to listen to the North Sea, in order to learn to speak with it and on its behalf in the coming years.
A well-considered project, in which the Embassy of the North Sea translated years of research into a court case that marks the transition to ‘giving a voice’ to the North Sea. The legal system – pre-eminently designed for humans – is broken open for the rights of the natural world. In doing so, they focus on an entity whose ownership and control is unclear: the North Sea. The sea actually belongs to us all, or to no one, or to itself. The experimental nature of a mock courtroom is inspiring. The comprehensive international connection and collaboration with similar initiatives is interesting. An important process that is ready to take its next steps.