Joshua C Gellers
Constitutions, democracy, environmental rights, human rights, international relations, survival analysis
While the growing trend towards constitutional enactment of environmental rights has mainly been discussed in normative and descriptive terms, few scholars have endeavoured to explain the phenomenon in a systematic fashion and none have approached the subject from the perspective of international relations (IR). In this article, I seek to correct for this theoretical gap and augment the existing understanding of this global development in constitutional design. Using survival analysis, I examine normative, rationalist-materialist, and domestic politics explanations for the phenomenon observed. I find that the adoption of constitutional environmental rights is significantly associated with international civil society influence, human rights legacy, and level of democracy, and best explained by theories of domestic politics and norm socialization. This research suggests that the emergence of constitutional environmental rights signals a major shift in the international normative arena.
(2015) 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 75-97
Explaining the emergence of constitutional environmental rights: a global quantitative analysis
environmental law, environmental rights, human rights, constitutional law, constitutions
More and more constitutions around the world — from Bangladesh to Bolivia, and from the Philippines to the countries of the EU — are explicitly protecting environmental rights and the values of a clean and healthy environment. In many instances, environmental rights are recognized not as substantive entitlements (which would allow litigants to sue if the government polluted their rivers or clearcut their forests), but as procedural rights. Examples of procedural rights include imposing on governments the obligation to consult with communities before they take actions that will affect their environment or giving individuals the right to participate in governmental processes that will affect their environment. While procedural rights do not guarantee a particular outcome, they may be more effective in preventing environmental degradation. This paper assesses the efficacy of these procedural constitutional environmental protections and seeks to determine whether procedural rights can be more efficacious than substantive environmental rights.
E. Daly, Constitutional Protection for Environmental Rights: The Benefits of Environmental Process (2012). International Journal of Peace Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2012
Constitutional Protection for Environmental Rights: The Benefits of Environmental Process