Category Archives: Constitutional Law

A Global Environmental Right (S. J. Turner)

Author

Stephen J. Turner

Keywords

Environmental Rights, Global Environmental Governance, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Trade Law, Non-State Actors, Climate Change Law

Abstract

The development of an international substantive environmental right on a global level has long been a contested issue. To a limited extent environmental rights have developed in a fragmented way through different legal regimes. This book examines the potential for the development of a global environmental right that would create legal duties for all types of decision-makers and provide the bedrock for a new system of international environmental governance. Taking a problem solving approach, the book seeks to demonstrate how straightforward and logical changes to the existing global legal architecture would address some of the fundamental root causes of environmental degradation. It puts forward a draft global environmental right that would integrate duties for both state and non-state actors within reformed systems of environmental governance and a rational framework for business and industry to adhere to in order that those systems could be made operational. It also examines the failures of the existing international climate change regime and explains how the draft global environmental right could remedy existing deficits.

Citation

(2014) A Global Environmental Right. Earthscan by Routledge.

Book

A Global Environmental Right

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Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions (Neil A. F. Popovic)

Author

Neil A.F. Popovic

Keywords

environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights

Extract

I. Introduction

Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.

Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.

The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.

Citation

(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47

Paper

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions

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An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J.B. Ruhl

Keywords

Constitutional law, United States constitution, environmental law, right to clean and healthy environment, rights of future generations, natural resources, national natural resources, constitutional amendment

Extract

“After having lain dormant for almost twenty years, proposals for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would elevate environmental protection to the status of a fundamental right are on the rise. Since 1990, several such measures have been offered by groups as diverse as New Jersey fifth graders and well-funded environmental preservation organizations. Now, led by concerned members of thirty-seven state legislatures, a politically viable initiative is fully underway to have such a resolution introduced in Congress. See Richard L. Brodsky and Richard L. Russman, A Constitutional Initiative, Defenders, Fall 1996, at 37. The proposed language of their environmental rights amendment declares:

The natural resources of the nation are the heritage of present and future generations. The right of each person to clean and healthful air and water, and to the protection of other natural resources of the nation, shall not be infringed by any person.

These two sentences, faithful to the constitutional tradition of conciseness, express an elegant message of national commitment to environmental protection and to a future of environmental sustainability. But what a terrible idea it is to embody that message in the form of an amendment to the Constitution” (46).

Citation

(1996-1997) 11 Natural Resources & Environment pp. 46-49

Paper

An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea

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The Metrics of Constitutional Amendments: And Why Proposed Constitutional Amendments Don’t Add Up (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J.B. Ruhl

Keywords

constitutional law, environmental law, environmental rights, rights to environmental quality, policy, politics, environmental policy, United States Constitution

Abstract

None Available

Citation

(1999) 74 Notre Dame Law Review 245

Paper

The Metrics of Constitutional Amendments: And Why Proposed Constitutional Amendments Don’t Add Up

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A Critical Examination of the Environmental Jurisprudence of the Courts of India (J. M. Cha)

Authors

J. Mijin Cha

Keywords

Human Rights, Environmental Rights, Constitutional Law, India, Right to a Healthy Environment, Jurisprudence

Extract

Introduction
 
Since 1972, India has carefully crafted an extensive body of environmental jurisprudence. Through the work of the legislature, along with the judiciary, the importance of environmental protection is being considered in all aspects of the law. The judiciary in particular has been extremely active in developing this ideal. By declaring a fundamental right to a healthy environment and liberalizing locus standi requirements, the judiciary has become active and influential in this developing country.

However, in order to achieve the desired results, the judiciary often employs unconventional measures that go above and beyond traditionally accepted methods used by the courts. The result of this activism, however pure the intent may be, is a muddled body of case law that fails to set forth clearly articulated principles and ultimately results in disputes with other branches of government.

This article explores the development of environmental law in the Indian judiciary, focusing heavily on the extra-judicial measures employed by the courts. The first section addresses the evolution of environmental law in India and briefly summarizes current environmental legislation and constitutional provisions that provide environmental protection. It also addresses the concept of public interest litigation and the manner in which courts have expanded the doctrine of locus standi.

The second section discusses the reactions and responses of the courts to environmental litigation. This analysis is split into two distinct areas: procedural imbalances and substantive imbalances. The section on procedural imbalances analyzes the effect …

Citation

(2005) 10 Albany Law Environmental Outlook Journal 197

Paper

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