Should Trees Have Legal Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects
The history of the law suggests a parallel development. Perhaps there never was a pure Hobbesian state of nature, in which no "rights'' existed except in the vacant sense of each man's "right to self-defense." But it is not unlikely that so far as the earliest "families" (including extended kinship groups and clans) were concerned, everyone outside the family was suspect, alien, rightless. 2 And even within the· family, persons we presently regard as the· natural holders of at least some rights had none.