© 2020

Ecological Integrity in Science and Law

  • Laura Westra
  • Klaus Bosselmann
  • Matteo Fermeglia
  • Presents both practical legal information and a principled defense of the world’s ecology

  • Features the best work by scholars from all continents

  • Presents a strong critique of many assumptions currently taken for granted regarding common practices regarding both climate and food

Conference proceedings

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Ecological Integrity: Climate Change and Water Issues

  3. Public Health and Ecointegrity

  4. Ecological Integrity and State Obligations

  5. Ecological Integrity and the Role of Earth Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Jakub Zelený, Daniel Mercado-Bettín
      Pages 161-173

About these proceedings


This book offers recent insights into some of the burning issues of our times: climate change, exposure to chemicals, refugee issues and the ecological harm that accompanies conflict situations. It brings together a group of pioneering scholars, mostly legal experts but also thinkers from various scientific disciplines, to discuss concerns from around the globe – from Australia and New Zealand, to Canada and the United States, European countries including Germany, Italy, Britain and the Czech Republic, as well as the African continent.

Presenting the latest climate and ecology-related case law, as well as analyses of the conceptual issues that underlie international problems, it covers the extinction of species, the basic role of women and Indigenous peoples in protecting the environment, the failure of today’s states to protect the human right to a safe environment and public health, the harm arising from the current industrial food production, and the problems resulting from a growth-oriented economy. Lastly, the book examines various international legal principles and regulations that have been proposed to defend global ecological rights.


international law public health climate change the role of women the failure of states migrants and refugees, industrial agriculture latest ecological science

Editors and affiliations

  • Laura Westra
    • 1
  • Klaus Bosselmann
    • 2
  • Matteo Fermeglia
    • 3
  1. 1.University of WindsorMapleCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of LawUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Faculty of LawHasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium

About the editors

Laura Westra did her undergraduate and graduate work in philosophy, and she received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1983. After her retirement from the University of Windsor’s Philosophy Department, she attended Osgoode Hall Law School, and received her second Ph.D. in Jurisprudence in 2005. She is the founder of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) (, and has organized annual conferences for 27 years for the group which comprises over 200 members. She has been reinstated at the University of Windsor, and taught in Italy, at the University of Milano(Bicocca) and the University of Salerno. She is the author/editor of 44 books and over 90 articles and chapters in books. 

Klaus Bosselmann has been teaching in the areas of public international law, European law, global environmental law and governance, and environmental constitutionalism. His research focus is on conceptual, international and comparative dimensions of environmental law and governance. He is particularly interested in ecological approaches to law and governance. He has been the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law since its establishment in 1999. He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Ethics Specalist Group, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA),  Co-Chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), and executive member of several other professional networks including Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand (SANZ) and the New Zealand Centre of Global Studies (NZCGS). Klaus has authored or edited 30 books on environmental law and political ecology, a number of which have been translated into multiple languages; his articles appeared in many of the world’s leading law journals. For his pioneering work on ecological law, he has received numerous awards including the Inaugural Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Matteo Fermeglia is affiliated as a Doctor Assistant in Environmental and Administrative Law within the Center for Government and Law (CORe) of Hasselt University. He graduated in 2014 as a master in Law at the University of Trieste (Italy). The research themes in which Matteo Fermeglia is active include soil protection, environmental liability, climate law and governance. In 2017, Matteo was Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School, where he actively collaborated with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.
In 2019, Matteo obtained his doctorate in Law at the University of Udine and Trieste joint PhD programme with a dissertation on the legal nature of EU Emission Trading Allowances, the Renewable Energy Certificates and Energy Efficiency Certificates. Matteo has authored and co-authored several publications in edited books and international journals on diffuse soil pollution, environmental liability, climate law and governance.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Ecological Integrity in Science and Law
  • Editors Laura Westra
    Klaus Bosselmann
    Matteo Fermeglia
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Law and Criminology Law and Criminology (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-46258-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-46261-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-46259-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 264
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour
  • Topics International Environmental Law
    Public Health
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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“The book is written for environmental professionals, advocates, managers, thinkers, activists, politicians, lawyers - anyone who deals professionally or politically with major environmental issues. … this book is distinctive for its advocacy, for bringing in legal questions, and for its serious philosophical chapters. It includes work by a very wide and diverse network of people who share a commitment to ecological integrity but are otherwise varied.” (Eugene N. Anderson, Doody's Book Reviews, November 13, 2020)