Deriving environmental rights from the ECHR (M. DeMerieux)


Margaret DeMerieux


ECHR, lack of specific Article(s) in the Convention that protection human environmental right(s), theoretical approaches, possible formulation of specific right(s). Court’s approch, adequate human environmental protection can be derived from existing framework.


This article examines the way in which the organs of the European Human Rights Convention have dealt with cases involving ‘the environment’ in the absence of any environmental (human) right or rights in the convention. Some theoretical approaches to ‘human rights and the environment’ are examined and the possible formulation of an environmental right or rights, their scope and content are discussed as a premliminary to the way in which the rights actually stated in the Convention could be or have been used to derive some form of environmental human right(s). It is suggested that the willingness or otherwise of the Court (now) to act in some sense to enforce ‘environmental human rights’ very much implicates the Court’s willingness or not accept a ‘judical control not always restricted to the legalityof administrative acts’. The conclusionis that it is unnecessary to ‘add’ specific environmental human rights to the Convention, and that there can be derived from a Convention that contemplated neither protection of the environment nor of the individual against harm to the environment, substantial legal protection under the Convention against environmental harms.


(2001) 21(3) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 521-561.


Deriving environmental rights from the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.