Category Archives: Environmental Justice

Human Rights and the Environment: The Case of Balmer-Shafroth v Switzerland (M. Craven)

Author

Matthew Craven

Keywords

Human rights and the environment, environmental justice; nuclear power station; judicial review.

Abstract

The international protection of fundamental human rights and the protection of the environment are two of the most rapidly developing spheres of law in the late twentieth century. Although they may be understood as having common aims (if one accepts that environmental law has an anthropocentric teleology) their functional interrelationship has tended to be obscured by a process of technocratic specialization that has been fomented, in particular, by the creation of a dedicated institutional forum for debate and dispute resolution.

Citation

(1998) 7(1) Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 93-97

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment: The Case of Balmer-Shafroth and others v Switzerland.

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Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization (F. Pearce)

Author

Fred Pearce

Keywords

Water – Globalization – political ambition – conflict – people – farmers – rural villages – impoverished communities – global water crisis.

Abstract

Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water in an Age of Globalization by Fred Pearce

“(a) remarkably well-researched book” – San Diego Union Tribune

Water has long been the object of political ambition and conflict. Recent history is full of leaders who tried to harness water to realize national dreams. Yet the people who most need water—farmers, rural villages, impoverished communities—are too often left, paradoxically, with desiccated fields, unfulfilled promises, and refugee status.

It doesn’t have to be this way, according to Fred Pearce.  A veteran science news correspondent, Pearce has for over fifteen years chronicled the development of large-scale water projects like China ’s vast Three Gorges dam and India ’s Sardar Sarovar. But, as he and numerous other authors have pointed out, far from solving our water problems, these industrial scale projects, and others now in the planning, are bringing us to the brink of a global water crisis.

Pearce decided there had to be a better way.

To find it, he traveled the globe in search of alternatives to mega-engineering projects. In Keepers of the Spring, he brings back intriguing stories from people like Yannis Mitsis, an ethnic Greek Cypriot, who is the last in his line to know the ways and whereabouts of a network of underground tunnels that have for centuries delivered to farming communities the water they need to survive on an arid landscape. He recounts the inspiring experiences of small-scale water stewards like Kenyan Jane Ngei, who reclaimed for her people a land abandoned by her government as a wasteland. And he tells of many others who are developing new techniques and rediscovering ancient ones to capture water for themselves.

In so doing, Pearce documents that these ‘keepers’ are not merely isolated examples, but collectively constitute an entire alternative tradition of working with natural flows rather than trying to reengineer nature to provide water for human needs.

The solution to our water problems, he finds, may not lie in new technologies—though they will play a role—but in recovering ancient traditions, using water more efficiently, and better understanding local hydrology. Are these approaches adequate to serve the world’s growing populations? The answer remains unclear. But we ignore them at our own peril.

Citation

Fred Pearce, Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization (Island Press, 2004)

Book

Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water In An Age of Globalization

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Public Law Project: the impact of human rights on judicial review (V. Bondy)

Author

Varda Bondy

Keywords

Judicial review; access to justice; environmental justice; human rights; HRA; ECHR; immgration and asylum.

Abstract

The project was designed to evaluate the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the processing, decision-making and jurisprudence of judicial review, and in particular to assess the extent to which HRA grounds provide new opportunities for successful challenge to public authorities. This research was undertaken over two years after the implementation of the HRA on 2nd October 2000, and so it was anticipated that practitioners and the judiciary would have had sufficient time to become familiar with its use. The reforms in the administrative court arising from the Bowman review, which were largely based on the premise that the Human Rights Act would lead to a substantial increase in the volume of judicial review applications, were implemented at the same time as the Human Rights Act. They were designed to encourage the parties to proceedings to resolve disputes prior to permission rather than after permission had been granted. This project was designed to investigate whether this aim had been achieved.

Citation

(June 2003, Public Law Project)

Paper

Public Law Project: the impact of human rights on judicial review.

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