3 J. Envtl. L. & Litig. 79 (1988)
On the Precedence of Natural Law

handle is hein.journals/jenvll3 and id is 89 raw text is: Captain Paul Watson*

On The Precedence of
Natural Law**
I have the utmost respect for the law. Indeed, it is my duty as a
citizen of the Earth to uphold the sacred trust of the Earth and to
obey her laws. In contrast, I respect the laws of a nation-state only
to the extent that such laws respect the higher order. The lex
scripta and lex non scripta of a nation must be subordinate to lex
natura.' Natural law is supreme.
What is natural law? I believe that natural law falls into three
distinct realms. The first is the realm of physical laws. These laws
include the law of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, and other
mathematical, chemical, nuclear, cosmological and biological laws.
These laws are definite. They cannot be repealed or altered or
amended. They are beyond question, beyond criticism, and thus
unenforceable and unbreakable. All human actions, indeed the ac-
tions of all living and nonliving things, are governed and restricted
by the physical laws of nature.
The second realm of natural law consists of ecological laws.
These laws govern the interrelationships of all life, yet make the
* Paul Watson was a founding member of Greenpeace. He left Greenpeace in
1977 to establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd is an
agressive, direct action organization dedicated to the conservation and protec-
tion of marine wildlife on an international level. The society strives to remain a
small, mobile, and non-bureaucratic organization. It has offices in the United
States, Canada, and Great Britain with representatives scattered about the globe.
Sea Shepherd was not created as an alternative to Greenpeace but rather as a group
which is more specific and agressive in its pursuit of marine wildlife and habitat
** Speech presented to the sixth Western Public Interest Law Conference at the
University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon on March 5, 1988.
1 In Latin, lex scripta means the written law, lex non scripta means the unwrit-
ten law, BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 821 (5th ed. 1979), and lex natura means the
natural law. Id. at 822. Lex is literally the legal machinery of a state, the law
(regarded as an active force). OXFORD LATIN DICTIONARY 1021-22 (P.G.W.
Glare ed. 1982). Natura is literally nature as the power which governs the physi-
cal universe and directs all natural processes. Id.

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