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The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent not-for-profit institution that aims to promote an understanding of the role of law in society. We identify and analyse issues of contemporary interest and importance, disseminating the insights of decision-makers and experts to a global audience through our extensive online resource of free-to-download Policy Briefings, Opinion Pieces, and multimedia podcasts.

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Rights, Interests, and the Water Resource: Crossing the Rubicon?

Karen Morrow
Publication date: 
Mon, 13 May 2013


This policy brief discusses the fitness for purpose of rights-based approaches to the freshwater resource, and the increasing significance of climate change and population growth for the effective and sustainable governance of the global freshwater resource. 
It assesses the nature and implications of the relationship between individual rights claims and the public interest, which are fraught with difficulties and inconsistencies. Rights claims in relation to the water resource may, in future, be characterized by much more radical thinking, specifically in the emerging field of wild law or rights for nature, which may offer useful new approaches to developing a sustainable legal regime for freshwater governance.