Legal personality is a fundamental concept in the field of law. It refers to the legal recognition of the ability of an entity to be the holder of rights and obligations within the framework of the legal system. Entities that have legal personality are considered subjects of law, which means that they can act in court, conclude contracts, own property, and be held accountable for their actions before the law.
Unprecedented in France, the Loyalty Islands have given legal personality to turtles and sharks. This decision was made in order to safeguard biodiversity, which is gradually declining.
Victor David, lawyer and researcher in environmental law at the Institute of Research and Development, indicates that "this decision makes this archipelago enter the history of environmental law". It is completely recent that species, during all their diversities, are considered as subjects of rights.
The province of the Loyalty Islands, from 2016, recognized in its Environmental Code various rights to nature. Among these rights, there is the "unitary principle of life".
The Environmental Code of the Loyalty Islands province was adopted following the deliberation n° 2016-13/API of April 6, 2016. The Article 110-3 of this Code provides that:
"The unitary principle of life which means that man belongs to the natural environment that surrounds him and conceives his identity in the elements of this natural environment constitutes the founding principle of Kanak society. In order to take into account this conception of life and the Kanak social organization, certain elements of Nature may be recognized as a legal personality endowed with rights of their own, subject to the legislative and regulatory provisions in force".

Indeed, the problem lies in the fact that this right, despite the fact that it provides protection to certain species, nevertheless it is certainly insufficient, for two reasons: The first is that it is not applicable, and the second, that the authorities have the possibility of going back on it. Notwithstanding that bulldog sharks are included in the list of protected species, the public authorities have ordered their culling because of the increase in attacks off Noumea, a region estimated as very touristic. Therefore, the protection of the animal will be limited, devoid of any meaning and value, if the latter encroaches on the territory occupied by people and causes them danger.
Marine Yzquierdo, lawyer at the Paris Bar and specialist in energy and environmental law, confirms that: "In our law, man and his interests are often placed at the center, nature being perceived only for its market value. But when we decide to grant rights to a natural entity, we no longer subordinate its defense to human interests". According to this lawyer, the main thing is not to substitute the rights of nature for environmental law, nevertheless, to complement the latter to create a balance between human interests and non-human interests. Therefore, it is up to justice to arbitrate between the interests of each one.