At Earth Rights Conference in Sigtuna, Sweden, a Tribunal on the rights of Lake Vättern was held. The following is the verdict from the judges.


Margaret Stewart

Tom Goldtooth

Stefan Mikaelsson (President of the Tribunal)


Hana Begovic

We, the judges of the Tribunal of the Rights of Lake Vättern, find that the destructive impacts of increased military shooting exercises, mining operations, and increased aerial activity in and around Lake Vättern violate the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

The Tribunal for the Rights of Lake Vättern has been created to provide systemic Rights of Nature based alternatives to the false solutions and failed negotiations of the private industries and governmental entities responsible for these destructive acts. It provides a vehicle for reframing and adjudicating prominent environmental and social justice cases within the context of a Rights of Nature based Earth jurisprudence. The adjudication process provides a platform for informed legal analysis of diverse cases based on Rights of Nature. In our final, written judgment, the Tribunal will recommend actions for reparation, mitigation, restoration and prevention of further damages and harm.

In the case before this Tribunal, testimony was given regarding the ecological integrity and inherent rights of Lake Vättern in Sweden and whether three specific actions constitute violations of those rights. Analyzing the evidence presented in light of the governing law of the Declaration, we find that the proposed increase in military shooting exercises, the proposed mining operations in and around Lake Vättern, and the expansion of the military airport violate the rights and obligations set out in Articles 2 and 3 of the Declaration.

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