In the face of recurrent environmental disasters, which are mainly caused by human beings’ direct action, the legal response to the problem often appears inadequate. Both the difficulty of defining, from a legal point of view, phenomena that are still unclear on a scientific level and the complexity of the actions causing environmental disasters are the main reasons for the cur-rent inadequacy of law. The non-linearity of the relationship between knowledge, representation, and legal definitions of environment-related issues, taken together with the even more urgent threat of irreversible damages, requires an extraordinary imaginative effort to develop new frames that can respond to the communities’ requests for justice.
The strategic use of international justice to file pilot cases or, following the proposal of South American neo-constitutionalism, the recognition of the rights of Nature (Pachamama) can pave the way to suitable answers and innovative legal solutions.
Keywords: Environmental justice - Rights of nature - Expert knowledge - Lay knowledge - Collective capabilities]