Category Archives: Human Rights

Environment and Citizenship (M.J. Smith and P. Pangsapa)

Author(s)

Mark J. Smith and Piya Pangsapa

Keywords

Environmental and ecological citizenship, environmental justice, risks, environmental movements

Abstract

This timely book outlines the debates on environmental and ecological citizenship that have emerged out of the concern with environmental justice since the 1990s. The book demonstrates how awareness of environmental hazards, injustices and new forms of risk is only effective when it generates strategies for political change. It examines how environmental movements have become increasingly involved in governance processes at the national, regional and intergovernmental levels, in contexts such as the EU, UN and LA21 initiatives. The authors argue that while ‘rights-discourse’ has highlighted the status of specific identities, taking account of obligation prompts a consideration of social, cultural, political, economic and environmental injustices. Tackling these injustices demands a concern with both entitlements and obligations of all relevant parties and constituencies.

Using new evidence and case studies, this book explores:

– the new vocabulary of citizenship
– how successful environmental policy-making depends on the responsible actions of civil society actors as much as on governments and international treaties
– how stakeholding processes and participatory research in environmental decision-making transform deliberation processes and civic engagement
– the increased importance of transnational networks creating public-private and civil strategic partnerships between organizations

NGO activists, ministers, academics and environmental philosophers all now refer to ‘citizenship’ as a key concept for understanding environmental justice and responsibility. Using contexts as diverse as Southern Spain, the borderlands of Thailand and South Africa, this book demonstrates how ecological citizenship provides the key link between them through processes of civic engagement.

Citation

Mark J. Smith and Piya Pangsapa, Environment and Citizenship: Integrating Justice, Responsibility and Civic Engagement (Zed Books, 2008)

Book

Environment and Citizenship: Integrating Justice, Responsibility and Civic Engagement

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Principles of international environmental law (P. Sands)

Author

Philippe Sands QC

Keywords

Legal and international frame work, governance, regulation, compliance, human rights and armed conflict, climate change, pollution, Aarhus Convention, access to information, dispute resolution

Abstract

This book is a comprehensive overview of the principles of international environmental law and includes a chapter on human rights and armed conflict whilst including other subjects that link the two fields. A number of themes or trends relating to the general development of international law have been carefully threaded throughout the book. The newly inserted Chapter on Human Rights and Armed Conflict, highlights amongst other things, a growing willingness to identify violations of ‘environmental’ rights, with reference in particular to recent important decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Similarly, the new chapter on Foreign Investment has been inserted to take account of the fact that ‘[f]oreign direct investment is now the largest source of external finance for developing countries’ (p.1056). There is accordingly an increased need to consider the relationship between the protection of investment and the protection of the environment. In tandem with this, Sands emphasises the growing relevance of public international law to the business community in general. A further interrelated issue is the increasing encouragement of non-state actors to be involved in international environmental law and to engage in private enforcement, for which the 1998 Aarhus Convention is of special significance. Sands effectively illustrates the growing fora for resolution of international disputes and the improved readiness of States to submit issues concerning environmental law to international courts or arbitrators and to import international environmental law principles into domestic systems. Indeed, with the escalating number of multilateral environmental instruments touching on the same subject areas, he notes that parties are often being faced with a choice between dispute resolution procedures.

Citation

Phillipe Sands, Principles of international environmental law, (Cambridge University Press, 2003 New York)

Paper

Principles of international environmental law

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Night flights and environmental human rights (D. Hart & M. Wheeler)

Author(s)

David Hart and Marina Wheeler

Keywords

Air routes; Causes of action; Environmental protection; Margin of appreciation; Noise; Right to effective remedy; Right to respect for private and family life.

Abstract

Explores the scope and implications of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in Hatton v United Kingdom (36022/97) on the substantive merits of the Government’s decision on night flights from Heathrow airport and whether the decision was compatible with the applicants’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.8, and whether the decision making process itself accorded due weight to the interests of the individual. Addresses the margin of appreciation to be afforded to the Government when striking a fair balance between the competing interests of the individual and the community as a whole. Considers whether judicial review was not an effective remedy for the purpose of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.13 in respect of the alleged infringement of the applicants’ rights under Art.8.

Citation

(2004) 16 Journal of Environmental Law 132-139.

Paper

Night flights and environmental human rights.

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