Category Archives: Anthropocentrism

A Substantive Environmental Right: An Examination of the Legal Obligations of Decision-Makers towards the Environment (S. Turner)

Author(s)

Stephen Turner

Keywords

environmental rights, legal obligations, environmental protection, international law, anthropocentricism, public participation, human rights

Abstract

Accute global awareness of environmental degradation seems at last to have created a consensus that environmental obligations should be imposed on decision-makers, whether state or non-state actors. However, although substantive environmental rights have been developed to a limited degree, there is as yet no international treaty or agreement that provides a globally accepted substantive human right to a good or clean and healthy environment.

This impressive book proposes such a right. In unprecedented depth, the author probes the legal obligations of decision-makers within states, companies, multilateral development banks and the World Trade Organization and develops a sound substantive human right that creates duties, both nationally and internationally, by which all decision-makers are legally bound to follow specific rules and procedures that would prevent or limit environmental degradation stemming from their decisions.

Among the major issues dealt with in the course of the presentation are the following:
determination of an equitable form of compensation where less environmentally-degrading alternatives are not viable;
anthropocentric approach vs. intrinsic rights for all ecosystems and natural systems; problems of fixing qualitative standards;
problems arising from the differing economic capacities of states;
the extent to which state constitutional provisions relating to the environment can direct and constrain legislators and policymakers;
effectiveness of responses to pressure upon multinational enterprises to take the environment into consideration in their decision-making processes; intergenerational equity;
protection of indigenous and vulnerable communities; and
public participation in the environmental impact assessment process.

The annex provides the author’s draft accord between states for the development and realization of a substantive environmental right.
This is the first book to formulate a full-fledged international legal right ensuring that all peoples could enjoy an environment, in which all ecosystems and natural systems are protected, and to demonstrate how such a right could be instituted and work in practice. As such it not only represents a major contribution to our knowledge and significantly enhances our understanding of the issues examined, but also brilliantly exposes the obstacles blocking environmental progress and powerfully clarifies the way ahead. It will be of immeasurable value to anyone committed to turning back the tide of environmental degradation.

Citation

Stephen Turner, A Substantive Environmental Right: An Examination of the Legal Obligations of Decision-Makers Towards the Environment (Wolters Kluwer, 2008)

Book

A Substantive Environmental Right: An Examination of the Legal Obligations of Decision-Makers Towards the Environment

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Inuit Perceptions on the Adaptability of Land Claims Agreements to Accommodate Environmental Change (Konstantia Koutouki and Natasha Lyons)

Author(s)

Konstantia Koutouki and Natasha Lyons

Keywords

Climate change, adaptation, land claims, Inuit

Abstract

Integrating case studies, the legal and anthropological perspectives of the authors, and the expertise of Inuit collaborators from three Arctic regions, this paper provides a broad perspective on how the Inuit perceive the relationship between climate change adaptation and land claims agreements.

Citation

Koutouki, K. & N.Lyons, N., ‘ Canadian Inuit Speak to Climate Change: Inuit Perceptions on the Adaptability of Land Claims Agreements to Accommodate Environmental Change’ CISDL Legal Working Paper Series on Climate Change Law and Policy (December 2007)

Paper

Canadian Inuit Speak to Climate Change: Inuit Perceptions on the Adaptability of Land Claims Agreements to Accommodate Environmental Change

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Reassessing environmental impact assessment: a role for wild law? (O. Hamlyn)

Author

Olivia Hamlyn

Keywords

Environment; Jurisprudence; Planning; EU law; Environmental impact assessments; Environmental law; Planning permission; Stirling; Wind farms

Abstract

Explores the the potential use of “wildlaw”, law that takes the interests of the environment as its starting point, in environmental impact assessments, with reference to Stirling Council’s decision on whether to grant planning permission for a wind farm on Ballindalloch Muir where the applicant’s assessment and consultation process had been flawed. Reviews the origins of the wildlaw concept in the Earth jurisprudence of Thomas Berry and associated writers. Notes the wind farm opponents’ choice of an anthropocentric argument. Proposes a system for incorporating wildlaw into assessments.

Citation

(2011) 23(1) Environmental Law & Management 7-19

Paper

Reassessing environmental impact assessment: a role for wild law?

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Response to commentators (C.D. Stone)

Author

Christopher D Stone

Keywords

Should Trees have standing? Response, Code, Warnock, Naffine.

Abstract

Professor Stone, author of the iconic ‘Should Trees Have Standing?’, addresses the reflections of Ngaire Naffine, Mary Warnock and Lorraine Code on his original paper.

Citation

(2012) Issue 0 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 100-120.

Paper

Response to commentators

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Legal personality and the natural world: on the persistence of the human measure of value (N. Naffine)

Author

Ngaire Naffine

Keywords

Common law world, conservative Christians, consuming humanistic debate, Dworkin, Finnis, rationalists, rationality, sanctity

Abstract

Addressing the fundamental anthropocentrism of law, the author argues that two influential families of thinkers have played a critical role in sustaining it: secular rationalists and conservative Christians. The influence of these thinkers has combined to engineer and sustain a set of public concerns about the fitting borders of legal personality that are essentially humanistic in the sense that they focus almost exclusively on the human species and the perceived limits of its interests. The author’s reluctant conclusion is that, notwithstanding the eloquence, intelligence and power of Stone’s arguments, he was unable to attract the attention of a critical mass of the influential, let alone persuade them to set aside their own human concerns. Law continues to exclude the non-human from its community of persons.

Citation

(2012) Issue 0 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 68-83

Paper

Legal personality and the natural world: on the persistence of the human measure of value

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