The application for Vuotos reservoir and regulating project was denied by the Supreme Administrative Court (KHO 2002:86) by virtue of the Finnish Water Act (264/1961) because of the damages it would have caused to the environment (WA 2:5). The decision opens up two angles from which to examine the law. The first angle is directed towards the history of legal rules on building water power utilities and the weight of natural values in those rules and in legal decisions. The evolution of rules is in this study combined with permits on building Kemijoki water system. The Vuotos decision and the new Water Act (587/2011) becoming into force at the beginning of 2012 are studied in connection with different historical roots that are identified in them. The hegemony of water power in the use of water-courses lasted from the beginning of 1940s until the turn of the decade 1980, when the act protecting Ounasjoki (703/1983) was passed and the government decided (at that time) not to build Vuotos reservoir. In water law the legal weight of natural values has been gradually growing. As a result of recent reforms (implementing EU-directives 2000/60/EY and 2004/35/EY) the law has also meaningfully opened up in the direction of the rights of nature. The second angle that the Vuotos decision opens up is directed towards deeper layers of law. Biocentric and ecocentric materials have been identified to be imported into Finnish law by the constitutional environmental right (the Constitution of Finland section 20, 731/1999). In this research the deeper layers are studied by asking about the possibility of biocentric law and possibility to locate a category of biological community rights into law. The grounds for biocentric thinking are studied in the fields of ethics and both philosophy and theory of law. This study concludes that life is sufficient to justify the inherent worth and even moral and legal rights of a living being. The system of law can be assessed to include features and deposited materials, with which biocentric thinking does not conflict, but in fact forms a reasonable opportunity to be considered.
|Translated title of the contribution||Kemijoen vesistön rakentaminen ja Vuotos - oikeuden ajattelu|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|
- luonnon arvot
- biosentrinen oikeus