Category Archives: Jurisprudence

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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Workers’ Rights and Pollution Control in Delhi (K.D. Alley & D. Meadows)

Authors

K.D. Alley & D. Meadows

Keywords

Human Rights, Environmental Rights, Constitutional Law, India, Right to a Clean Environment, Pollution

Abstract

Within India’s judicial interpretation of constitutional rights there exists a close link between environmental values and human rights. Yet in some instances court cases defending the right to a clean environment have actually jeopardized the job security of India’s poorest laborers and have led to abuses of human rights. One such example is the 1995 Supreme Court case MC Mehta v. Union of India, which ordered the closure and relocation of polluting industries in Delhi. In this instance the Court responded to middle-class appeals for pollution remediation through a broad reading of the constitution’s fundamental right to life principle, at the same time adversely affecting tens, even hundreds, of thousands of the city’s poorest workers.

The spotty interest of the government’s legislative and executive branches in addressing the environmental problems created by both private and public sector development initiatives has provided the impetus for legal activism in India. Parliament has enacted environmental legislation, but enforcement has been profoundly lax, and governmental pollution control boards have been lenient in regulating industrial and vehicular emissions and industrial and municipal waste treatment facilities. Moreover, projects involving air and water pollution, massive human displacement, and the destruction of natural ecosystems continue to go forward with the imprimatur of formal administrative approval, based on only perfunctory or formalistic compliance with regulatory norms.

Citation

(2004) 11 Human Rights Dialogue 15

Paper

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Some Brief Observations on Fifteen Years of Environmental Rights Jurisprudence in South Africa (L.J. Kotze and A. Plessis)

Authors

Louis J. Kotzé & Anél du Plessis

Keywords

Human Rights, Environmental Rights, Constitutional Law, South Africa

Abstract

Introduction
South Africa has recently celebrated its fifteenth year of democracy. The country has achieved much during this period in terms of realizing and upholding the founding democratic values espoused in the opening sections of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Constitution); including, among others: human dignity, the achievement of equality, the advancement of human rights and freedoms, constitutional supremacy, and the rule of law. At the same time, the inclusion of an enforceable substantive environmental right in the Constitution has sparked unprecedented development of the domestic environmental law and governance framework.
[…]
In an effort to evaluate the role that the South African courts have played in the development of constitutional environmental rights jurisprudence during the past fifteen years, this contribution commences with an introductory overview of the structure and function of the courts, with specific reference to their general role in environmental governance. The discussion subsequently turns to South Africa’s constitutional environmental right (section 24 of the Constitution), and to a succinct review of a selection of judgments in which the courts have engaged with this provision.

Citation

(2010) 3 Journal Of Court Innovation 157

Paper

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From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law (P.E. Taylor)

Author

Prudence E. Taylor

Keywords

International Law, Environmental Law, Ethics, Ecological Rights

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

One of the most interesting developments in international environmental law in recent years has been the attempt to create links between the ethics debate and law reform. These attempts began with the recognition that philosophical discussions concerning the relationship between humanity and nature, and the moral worth of nature, were not only relevant to understanding the limitations inherent within current law, they were also fundamental to creating new legal obligations. As a consequence the language of philosophers began to emerge in the context of legal discourse. Phrases such as the “intrinsic value” of nature, “respect for nature,” “responsibility for nature,” and “future generational equity” have often found a place in dialogue and writings concerning traditional and new environmental legal obligations. At the municipal level this trend can be traced back to the late 1970s, while developments at the international level occurred more slowly. Nevertheless, by 1991 one of the first texts on international environmental law acknowledged that “ethical and philosophical concepts are crucial in understanding the actual nature of environmental law and the challenge it poses to international law.” 1

The task of this article is to consider a link between environmental ethics and human rights law in the form of “ecological rights.” The phrase “ecological rights” is used here to describe human rights which are subject to certain limitations. These limitations recognize that individual freedoms are exercised in an ecological context, in addition to a social context. In comparison, “environmental rights” …

Citation

(1998) 10 Georgetown Environmental Law Review 309

Paper

From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law

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The Environmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, 2003-2004 (D. Shelton)

Author

Dinah Shelton

Keywords

Human Rights, Environmental Jurisprudence, European Court of Human Rights

Abstract

None available

Citation

in (2004) 1 Global Community: The Year Book of International Law and Jurisprudence  293,  (Oceana: Dobbs Ferry, NY)

Paper

The Environmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, 2003-2004

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