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Faber acquires A Barrister for the Earth by Monica Feria-Tinta

By Faber Editor, 21 April 2023

Faber has acquired a pioneering account of the legal fight for the preservation of the natural world and against climate change by barrister Monica Feria-Tinta.

Senior commissioning editor Fiona Crosby pre-empted World All Language rights to A Barrister for the Earth from Sophie Scard at United Agents.

Can a planet have legal rights? Could it be defended in a court of law? And who or what are we referring to when we refer to the right to life? In recent years, a quiet revolution has been taking place. Ordinary people have turned to courts around the world seeking justice for environmental damage: melting glaciers, sinking islands, extinction of species, and more. These cases prompt a reinterpretation of the law itself, one which is likely to impact the life of every single person around the world.

Monica Feria-Tinta is a barrister at the forefront of this new development, who advocates not just for people but also for Nature itself, for the diversity of life that sustains us. A Barrister for the Earth will explore eight critical cases she has successfully fought – each of which are landmarks signalling that we are at an important juncture: the beginning of a shift in consciousness, and the dawning of a new era.

Monica Feria-Tinta said: 

‘In June 2020, I found myself acting as an advocate not for a human client, but as a barrister for the Earth. The case related to a cloud forest near the Equator-line in Ecuador, in which live species which cannot be found anywhere else in the world, were being threatened with extinction by a gold-mine exploration. I appeared before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador arguing for the right of the spectacled bear, a variety of monkeys, fungus, frogs, and the entire cloud forest itself, to exist. A Barrister for the Earth is a deeply personal book which sheds light on the transformative power of the law in protecting the Earth. My journey, which I share in this book, has been humbling because of what I have found, and what those forests, rivers, islands, territories and the people protecting those worlds – our world – have taught me. I hope this book can contribute to reimagining the way we exist on this planet.’

Fiona Crosby said:

‘I’m delighted to be working with Monica on this uniquely hopeful account of the fight against climate change. Each legal battle Monica describes is extraordinary: from her vital work alongside indigenous communities around the world to successfully arguing for the rights of nature itself. Her book will give readers an entirely new perspective on how we can preserve the natural world and demonstrates that we already have the tools we need to hold the biggest perpetrators of environmental damage to account.’

Monica Feria-Tinta is a British-Peruvian barrister specialising in Public International Law. She has been called one of ‘the most daring, innovative and creative lawyers’ in the United Kingdom, and was shortlisted for “Barrister of the Year” at The Lawyers’ Awards 2020 for her work in addressing climate change and environmental degradation. In 2020, she acted before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador in Los Cedros case, the first ‘Rights of Nature’ case in the world. In September 2022 her work as Counsel helped secure a win in the Torres Strait Islanders case, a landmark moment in which the UN Human Rights Committee found a Sovereign state responsible, for the first time in history, for lack of action in addressing climate change.