Category Archives: Civil and Political Rights

Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change (ed. Abbe E. L. Brown)

Editor

Abbe E.L. Brown

Keywords

development studies, law and development, environment, climate change, innovation and technology, technology and ict, academic law, environmental law, human rights, intellectual property law, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights

Abstract

Many disciplines are relevant to combating climate change. This challenging book draws together legal, regulatory, geographic, industrial and professional perspectives and explores the role of technologies in addressing climate change through mitigation, adaptation and information gathering. It explores some key issues. Is intellectual property part of the solution, an obstacle to change or peripheral? Are there more important questions? Do they receive the attention they deserve? And from whom? This innovative book will play an important role in stimulating holistic discussion and action on an issue of key importance to society.

1. Low carbon futures for all? Strategic options for global availability of environmental technologies 29 Keith Culver

2. The puzzling persistence of the intellectual property right/climate change relationship 59 Navraj Singh Ghaleigh

3. Failure is not an option: enhancing the use of intellectual property tools to secure wider and more equitable access to climate change technologies 84 Jon P. Santamauro

4. Partnership and sharing: beyond mainstream mechanisms 108 Anna Davies

5. Public–private partnerships for wider and equitable access to climate technologies 128 Elisa Morgera and Kati Kulovesi

6. Climate change, technology transfer and intellectual property rights: a modest exercise in thinking outside the box 152 Krishna Ravi Srinivas

7. Access to essential environmental technologies and poor communities: why human rights should be prioritized 181 Oche Onazi

8. Achieving greater access: a new role for established legal principles? 198 Abbe E.L. Brown

9. The ‘new normal’: food, climate change and intellectual property 223 Baskut Tuncak

10. Intellectual property: property rights and the public interest 249 James McLean

11. A view from inside the renewable energy industry 265 Mervyn D. Jones

12. A private institutional investment perspective 271 David A. McGrory

Citation

2013. Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change, ed. Abbe E. L. Brown. Cheltenham: Elgar.

Paper

Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change

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Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions (Neil A. F. Popovic)

Author

Neil A.F. Popovic

Keywords

environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights

Extract

I. Introduction

Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.

Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.

The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.

Citation

(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47

Paper

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions

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The Right to a Satisfactory Environment and the Africa Commission (K. Ebeku)

Author

Kaniye Ebeku

Keywords

Human Rights, Right to a Healthy Environment, Comparative Law, Common Law, Islamic Law, Constitutional Law, Africa, Nigeria, Oil

Extract

Summary
This article emphasises that the right to a satisfactory, healthy or clean environment is enshrined in over 60 constitutions from all regions of the world. Moreover, it is suggested that there is an increasing trend by victims of environmental damage to invoke human rights for protection and redress. National courts and global and regional human rights monitoring bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Commission, have addressed this issue. It is encouraging that the African Commission recently decided a case concerning the impact of oil operations in the Niger Delta, concluding that the African Charter recognises the importance of a clean and safe environment. The decision recognises a nexus between socio-economic rights and the right to environment to the extent that the environment affects the quality of life and safety of individuals and groups. In finding Nigeria in violation of the Charter, the Commission stated that the right to a satisfactory environment ‘requires the state to take reasonable and other measures to prevent pollution and ecological degradation, to promote conservation, and to secure an ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources’.

Citation

(2003) 3 African Human Rights Law Journal 150

Paper

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Breathing Life into Fundamental Principles: Implementing Constitutional Environmental Protections in Africa (C. Bruch, W. Coker, C. Arsdale)

Author

Carl Bruch, Wole Coker, & Chris Van Arsdale

Keywords

Human Rights, Right to a Healthy Environment, Comparative Law, Common Law, Islamic Law, Constitutional Law, Africa,

Extract

INTRODUCTION
Constitutional provisions offer broad and powerful tools for protecting the environment, but to date these tools have gone largely unutilized in Africa. Practically all African constitutions include substantive provisions that ensure either a “right to a healthy environment” or a “right to life,” which often is held to imply a right to a healthy environment in which to live that life. Additionally, the process of opening courts to citizens to enforce their constitutional rights strengthens the judiciary, empowers civil society, and fosters an atmosphere of environmental accountability.
This article explores how African constitutional provisions can be utilized to create real and enforceable environmental rights. African countries have common law, civil law, and Islamic legal traditions, as well as some hybrid systems. Nevertheless, these legal systems share many common underlying principles and values, particularly regarding the fundamental human rights embodied in their respective constitutions. This article highlights relevant provisions from the constitutions of 53 African countries – provisions that may be used to protect the environment – as well as cases from around the world that illustrate opportunities for implementing constitutional environmental rights. Additionally, given the constitutional reform processes currently underway in various African countries – such as Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC and formerly Zaire) – this article examines the opportunities that such provisions present for improving environmental governance.

Citation

(2001) World Resources Institute Working Paper Series: Environmental Governance in Africa, WP#2

Paper

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Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing at the Cross-roads of the Human Right to Science and International Biodiversity Law (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

right to science, benefit-sharing, equity, international law, biodiversity, human rights

Abstract

As the debate about the need to clarify the content of the human right to science intensifies, this article assesses opportunities for opening a scholarly and policy dialogue on fair and equitable benefit-sharing between international human rights and biodiversity lawyers. To that end, the article contrasts the emerging conceptualizations of the right to science in the context of international cultural rights and of fair and equitable benefit-sharing under international biodiversity law. It then critically assesses the potential for cross-fertilization with specific regard to: the sharing of scientific information and promotion of scientific cooperation, the transfer of technology, and the protection and valorization of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. While acknowledging that both the right to science and fair and equitable benefit-sharing are far from being fully understood or operationalized, the article argues that developments in international biodiversity law concerning the latter may provide insights into how a vague and optimistic concept can (and when it cannot) lead to tangible outcomes, rather than remaining merely rhetorical.

Citation

(2015) Laws 4 pp.803-831

Paper

Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing at the Cross-roads of the Human Right to Science and International Biodiversity Law

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