Moot court in the Peace Palace, The Hague

Renewal in law: The North Sea speaks

The Embassy of the North Sea organised a Moot (or practice court) on 6 October 2022 in the Peace Palace in The Hague. This legal exercise was an opportunity to examine how non-human voices can be heard in a courtroom. During the experiment, the North Sea requested the Dutch government to grant it a declaration of right. The North Sea no longer wishes to be treated as an object bound by the decisions of others, but rather wants to relate to the Dutch state as an independent entity. Human and non-human witnesses were called to speak on behalf of various facets of the North Sea. They argued that the North Sea is ineffectively represented within existing laws and regulations.


This practice court is inspired by worldwide developments relating to the Rights for Nature, which now counts some four hundred legal and political cases around the globe. To learn about this movement, read the Compendium Rights of Nature here. The Spanish parliament, for example, recently passed a law that makes the highly polluted Spanish lagoon Mar Menor a legal entity: a first in Europe.

With: mr. Thomas Rammelt and mr. dr. Laura Burgers;

Editorial team: Embassy of the North Sea / Christiane Bosman, Harpo ‘t Hart, Thijs Middeldorp, Carolijn Terwindt & Laura Burgers;

Contributions by: Ziega van den Berk, Xandra van der Eijk, Maarten Kleinhans, Darko Lagunas & Thijs de Zeeuw;

Production: Giulia de Jong & Luca Naus;

Video & edits: Jelke Landman; photo’s: Cleo Campert;

Thanks to: Vriendenloterij en Brave New Works