… Drawing on comparative case studies from Ecuador, Colombia, India, New Zealand, the United States, and Australia, this Article explores the deep and often murky bond of the river and us. This relational, ancient, and ultimately environmentally urgent bond forms the prism through which the rich story of legal personhood, ontological change, and the consequential nitty-gritty of river governance is told. Indeed, this complex story is best heard through the metaphor of song, since ‘[i]f we are to take metaphor seriously, we must explore its poetic dimension, the persuasive power of its rhetoric, coupled with its aesthetic appeal’. In seeking to discern a river’s legal personality, we ask, can we hear the rivers sing?
Cristy Clark, Nia Emmanouil, John Page and Alessandra Pelizzon, Can You Hear the Rivers Sing? Legal Personhood, Ontology, and the Nitty-Gritty of Governance, 45 Ecology Law Quarterly 787 (2019).