Source: (2012) International Journal for the Semiotics of Law. October 2012. DOI:10.1007/s11196-012-9285-6.

This paper argues for proleptic restorative justice in the area of the environment in the form of a ‘human trust’. Drawing inspiration from the Roman public trust, the human trust insists that some ‘goods’ are so important that they can neither be owned nor spoiled; rather, they must be protected. In order to explain this model, water rights will be used as an example, specifically, the case of Plachimada’s battle with Coca-Cola over the use of local ground water in Kerala, India. This case allows consideration of the protection of water for people, the ongoing privatization of natural resources, and the strength of property rights. The human trust questions the merit of seeing the environment as property or in economic terms. Moreover, the human trust urges proleptic restorative justice, as in the case of the environment, restoration after the fact is often impossible. The potential harm is so extreme that one can argue for an action in tort of ‘anticipatory negligence’, a development of the quia timet injunction. (author's abstract)