Tag Archives: procedural rights

Procedural Rights as a Crucial Tool to Combat Climate Change (S. Kravchenko)

Author(s)

Svitlana Kravchenko

Keywords

human rights, procedural rights, combating climate change, freedom of expression, right to access information, right to participate in decision-making, access to justice, transparency, indigenous people, jurisprudence, human rights treaties, multilateral environmental agreements, civil society participation

Abstract

This Article will discuss how a subset of human rights – procedural rights – can play an important role in limiting climate change. These include freedom of expression and the right to seek and receive information, the right to participate in decision-making and the right of access to justice. States must address climate change through a transparent process of giving the public full and complete information during the early stages of decision-making in climate change related issues. States must also give the public a voice by allowing participation by all affected communities, including indigenous peoples.

In Part II, this Article will first discuss how freedom of expression and access to information are embedded in human rights treaties, multilateral environmental agreements, national constitutions and information laws, and in the jurisprudence of regional human rights and domestic courts, as well as national reporting and how these rights can be used for combating climate change. Part II will also briefly evaluate the right of investors to disclosure of climate risk information and the role of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in light of the agency’s new interpretive guidance on existing public company disclosure requirements relating to the issue of climate change.

In Part III, this Article will discuss public participation in decision-making related to climate change, first exploring the established legal framework for public participation in “soft law” MEAs, and in environmental impact assessments (EIAs), including the transboundary context. Part III concludes by providing case examples how procedural rights have been used to combat climate change. Finally, Part IV will evaluate the role of civil society participation in the negotiation of an international treaty at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Fifteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, as well as the author’s participation in the Working Group on Human Rights and Climate Change.

Citation

(2010) 38 (3) Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 613

Paper

Procedural Rights as a Crucial Tool to Combat Climate Change

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The Right to a Healthy Environment, Human Rights and Sustainable Development (S. Giorgetta)

Author(s)

Sueli Giorgetta

Keywords

sustainable development, environmental preservation, rights of present and future generations, human rights, right to a healthy environment, international law, procedural rights, public participation, human rights law, international law

Abstract

The concept of sustainable development is presented as a solution able to cope with development needs and the preservation of the environment, protecting it for present and future generations. The right to a healthy environment may be part of existing international law being implemented through human rights instruments. The procedural aspect of the right to a healthy environment embodies the right to information, the right to participate and the right to effective remedies. Participation in the decision-making process and available and effective means of redress are essential features of the right to a healthy environment. Expressed in the field of human rights law, these principles convey the notions that citizens are entitle to participate. The Aarhus Convention links environmental protection and human rights norms and is the first international legally binding instrument elaborating on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and recognizing the right to a healthy environment.

Citation

(2002) 2 International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 173

Paper

The Right to a Healthy Environment, Human Rights and Sustainable
Development

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Definition of an Environmental Right in a Human Rights Context (P. Cullet)

Author(s)

Philippe Cullet

Keywords

Right to environment, environmental protection, human rights, implementation mechanisms, procedural rights

Abstract

This article examines the theoretical background of a right to environment, its contents and the different ways to achieve implementation of the norm. Environmental protection is first ascertained as a universal concern which warrants consideration within a human rights context. Innovative features of the right such as the emphasis on protection and on the principle of solidarity driving from the internationalization of environmental problems are then examined. Further, some implementation mechanisms such as procedural rights developed at the same time in environmental and human rights instruments or the judicial appraisal of environmental protection in the context of enforceable human rights are highlighted.

Citation

(1995) 13 Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 25.

Paper

Definition of an Environmental Right in a Human Rights Context

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Are we there yet? The Right to Environment in International and European Law (L. M. Collins)

Author(s)

Lynda Margaret Collins
University of Ottawa – Common Law Section

Keywords

human rights law, environmental rights, environmental law, international policy, Europe, violations of rights, procedural rights, right to environment

Abstract

Recent decades have witnessed a progressive integration of international human rights law and international environmental law. Environmental human rights have been widely recognized in international environmental policy, domestic constitutions, and the decisions of international tribunals. A review of existing scholarship and jurisprudence reveals three discernible approaches to environmental human rights. The first is the recognition that environmental degradation may result in the violation or deprivation of existing human rights such as the right to life, the right to health, or the right to culture. A second approach, which has been codified internationally in at least two important treaties, recognizes procedural environmental rights, including the right to environmental information, the right to participate in environmental decision-making, and the right of access to justice in environmental matters. Finally, commentators, states, and tribunals are increasingly recognizing a free-standing “right to environment” which overlaps with, but extends beyond, other existing human rights. This Article will evaluate the content and current status of these three categories of environmental human rights in international law, and in the law of one of the most environmentally progressive regions of the world – Europe. 

Citation

(2007) 3 McGill International Journal Sustainable Development Law and Policy 119.

Paper

Are we there yet? The Right to Environment in International and European Law

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Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next? (A. Boyle)

Author(s)

Alan Boyle

Keywords

environmental protection, international law, UNHRC, human rights law, procedural rights, mechanisms, extra-territorial application, transboundary pollution, global climate change

Abstract

The relationship between human rights and environmental protection in international law is far from simple or straightforward. A new attempt to codify and develop international law on this subject was initiated by the UNHRC in 2011. What can it say that is new or that develops the existing corpus of human rights law? Three obvious possibilities are explored in this article. First, procedural rights are the most important environmental addition to human rights law since the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Any attempt to codify the law on human rights and the environment would necessarily have to take this development into account. Secondly, a declaration or protocol could be an appropriate mechanism for articulating in some form the still controversial notion of a right to a decent environment. Thirdly, the difficult issue of extra-territorial application of existing human rights treaties to transboundary pollution and global climate change remains unresolved. The article concludes that the response of human rights law – if it is to have one – needs to be in global terms, treating the global environment and climate as the common concern of humanity.

Citation

(2012) 23 The European Journal of International Law 613

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next?

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