Sajeva G. (2021). Environmentally-conditioned human rights: a good idea?. In Corrigan D. and Oksanen M. (eds.). Rights of Nature. A re-examination. Routledge Explorations in Environmental Studies. Chapter 6.



The emergence of the rights of nature is a clear response to the current environmental crisis. But this trend does not emerge in isolation: it is accompanied by many human rights issues that are equally in need to be addressed.

This chapter focuses on one of the many possible points of encounter between the rights of nature and human rights. It explores how they may be combined within biocultural rights—the basket of rights of indigenous peoples and local communities necessary to maintain their role as ecosystem stewards—and tries to understand what the consequences of combining nature and human interests as their foundations may be. In particular, the chapter questions: can biocultural rights be considered a satisfying and self-standing merge of indigenous peoples and the rights of nature? Or do they come with a price to be paid for such a sui generis conflation of interests?

In order to put in context such analysis, the chapter explores the Colombian Constitutional Court case on the Atrato river, which was the first case to explicitly mention biocultural rights.

Sajeva G. (in press). Human Rights and Environmental Protection in Namibia. A Case Study on the Khwe People of Bwabwata National Park. In Gullo N. (ed.), Human Rights and the Environment. Legal, Economic and Ethical Perspectives. Editoriale scientifica, Naples. Chapter 26.


This chapter presents the case study of the Khwe indigenous peoples living in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia. It was chosen as a clear example of the interdependence between conservation of the environment and human rights and of the conflicts that can, at times, arise between the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Sajeva G. (2021). Anthropocene: New Encounters, Old Patterns. A Few Comments on Payments for Ecosystem Services. In Soft Power, 13, 7(2).


This paper focuses on one of the answers proposed to the question: what type of change is to be pursued to limit human impact on the Earth while considering the needs of poor and disadvantaged communities? The paper looks a proposal that falls within sustainable development approaches based on market mechanisms and top-down technocratic responses: Payments for Ecosystem Services frameworks. They have been been criticized by many points of view, but this paper questions, in particular, their very reliance on the market, considering it inappropriate for the regulation of conservation activities and their interaction with local communities.

Sajeva G. (2020). Earth Jurisprudence: new paths ahead. Diritto and & questioni pubbliche, XX(2).

I have edited the 2020/2 monographic section of the journal Diritto e questioni pubbliche on Earth Jurisprudence, with contributions by Rodrigo Míguez Núñez, Livio Perra, Sofia Ciuffoletti, Matija Žgur, Giada Giacomini, and myself.

Sajeva G. (2020). Earth Jurisprudence: Looking for change in old new friends. Diritto e questioni pubbliche, XX(2).


The article introduces the reader to the theory of Earth Jurisprudence through an analysis of the writings of Thomas Berry, Cormac Cullinan and Peter Burdon. After looking at the main revisions that the scholars of Earth Jurisprudence propose to the theory of law, the article recognizes the fact that they all move in the direction of natural law theories and questions the opportunity to take this path in order to change the relationship between human law and the environment.

Sajeva, G. (2019). Inside-out. Internal and external limits to rights: does it matter? Diritto e questioni pubbliche19(2), 201-223.


Literature is rich on whether and how rights are limited by external considerations, such as other rights or particularly important general interests. This article concentrates on what could be a different type of limit of rights: internal limits stemming from the very foundations of a right. Its aim is to understand whether these hypothetically different internal limits actually collapse on the idea of internal limits of coherence theories; or whether they are equivalent, in terms of effects, to external limits to rights. In order to show the origin of the troubling with internal limits, the article begins with a brief introduction of biocultural rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and of the challenges they encountered, allegedly, because of the internal limits that rose from their foundations. It then concentrates on coherence theories and the internal limits they envisage, and continues with the analysis of two examples – freedom of expression and parental rights – in order to understand whether turning external limits into internal ones causes any change in the arising normative positions. Building on this thought experiment, it tries to explain which of the sui generis features of biocultural rights are, actually, due to their double foundation and which, instead, are generated by other, concealed operations. Finally, after recognizing the complexities of the idea of care and stewardship between two subjects/interests, it points out the more subtle implications of internal limits of rights, opening the way to considerations concerning the way legal concepts are used and interpreted.