Environment rights versus environmental wrongs: forum over substance? (M. Soveroski)


Marie Soveroski


Right to a clean/healthy environment; Stockholm Declaration; Rio Declaration; sustainable development; indigenous rights; procedural rights (Aarhus Pillars).


Beginning with the 1972 Stockholm Declaration, there have been a number of international proclamations of a human right to a clean environment, both implicit and explicit. The highpoint of this movement towards an internationally recognized substantive right to a clean environment came with the 1992 Rio Declaration. This movement has continued forward in regional and specialized regimes – for example with respect to water and indigenous rights. There has also been a parallel move towards recognition of what can be considered procedural rights, which require public access to information, participation in decision making, and access to justice in environmental matters. This article argues that further development and use of these procedural rights will not only provide opportunities to protect environmental rights, but can also further the development of a substantive right to a clean environment.


(2007) 16(3) Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 261-273


Environmental rights versus environmental wrongs: forum over substance?