Category Archives: Access to Justice

Getting over the Hump: Establishing A Right to Environmental Protection for Indigenous Peoples in the Inter-American Human Rights System (T. Thompson)

Author

Travis Thompson

Keywords

Human Rights, International Law, Human Right to a Healthy Environment, Environmental Protection, Inter-American Human Rights System, Indigenous People, Inuit

Excerpt

Introduction
Climate change is threatening the traditional way of life for indigenous peoples and the Inter-American Human Rights System  declines to combat this growing problem by refusing to acknowledge a right to environmental protection for indigenous peoples. The Inter-American Human Rights System has thus effectively cut off the possibility of remedying the harms suffered by indigenous peoples as a result of climate change. Because the problems that indigenous peoples face place them at the intersection of human rights and environmental law, an acknowledged right to environmental protection is crucial to their ability to sustain their customary way of life. Until recently, many scholars simply felt that a right to environmental protection did not exist.  Inaction based on this assertion, however, becomes increasingly difficult to justify given the number of treaties, declarations, and decisions by domestic, regional, and international bodies specifically acknowledging such a right. Without acknowledging a right to environmental protection, and more importantly, without providing effective means to remedy environmental abuses in the international community, indigenous peoples will continue to be marginalized and ultimately may not be able to protect their time- honored way of life.
Using the Inuit tribe as a principal example, Part I of this paper will demonstrate the unique impact climate change has on indigenous peoples. Part I will begin by identifying the effects of climate change which already strain this indigenous community’s relationship with its traditionally inhabited land After mentioning the anticipated challenges the Inuit face in …

Citation

(2009) 19 Journal of Transnational Law and Policy 179

Paper

Getting over the Hump: Establishing A Right to Environmental Protection for Indigenous Peoples in the Inter-American Human Rights System

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International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse (M.L. Schwartz)

Author(s)

Michelle Leighton Schwartz

Keywords

Human Rights, Right to life, Rights of indigenous peoples, procedural human rights, human right to a healthy environment, environmental refugees, desertification, flooding, international finance institutions, International Court of Justice, International Labour Organisation

Excerpt

Environmental disasters are increasing. They often result from human activities, such as the disposal of toxic chemicals, the generation of power, and the exploitation of oil. Mismanagement of natural resources has caused severe watershed erosion, desertification and atmospheric pollution which, in turn, have seriously impaired human life. Although the human suffering associated with environmental destruction is growing, international and regional human rights institutions have yet to clarify the obligations of governments to protect and provide remedies for these victims. This paper seeks to inspire such clarification and suggests legal and institutional reforms toward that end.

Citation

(1993) 18 Yale Journal of International Law 355

Paper

International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse

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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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Solidarity after Bhopal: Building a Transnational Environmental Justice Movement (R. Pariyadath and R. Shadaan)

Authors

Renu Pariyadath, Reena Shadaan

Keywords

Bhopal, Environmental Justice, India, Solidarity, Transnational Environmental Justice Movement

Abstract

Environmental Justice is the essential peer-reviewed journal that explores the equitable treatment of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Published bimonthly

Citation

(2014) 7(5) Environmental Justice 146-150

Paper

Solidarity after Bhopal: Building a Transnational Environmental Justice Movement

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Climate Policy and the Poor: Some Perspectives (S. Byravan)

Author

Sujatha Byravan

Keywords

Climate, Climate Justice, Climate Policy, the Poor

Abstract

Environmental Justice is the essential peer-reviewed journal that explores the equitable treatment of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Published bimonthly

Citation

(2014) 7(5) Environmental Justice 142-145

Paper

Climate Policy and the Poor: Some Perspectives

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