Category Archives: Politics and International Relations

Constitutional Entrenchment of Environmental Protection: A Comparative Analysis of Experiences Abroad (E. Brandl and H. Bungert)

Author

Ernst Brandl and Hartwin Bungert

Keywords

Environmental Law, Constitutional Law, Comparative Law

Extract

Introduction

Environmental law, the goal of which is to conserve and protect the environment, is not a strictly defined area of law that can be distinguished easily from other discrete areas of the law. For example, environmental protection provisions appear in criminal, property, construction, and water law. Therefore, commentators have declared that protection of the environment is a problem- oriented, cross-disciplinary task, and environmental law is a cross- disciplinary law.

[…]

This article discusses the practical experiences of several countries that have incorporated environmental provisions into their constitutions. A comparative approach is relatively popular and at the same time essential in environmental law. Environmental law seems to be an area of law where legislators often choose to draw on the experiences of foreign countries. This can be said at least for ordinary statutes. As to a comprehensive investigation and evaluation of foreign environmental constitutional provisions, however, this study is the first to be undertaken in the United States.

Citation

(1992) 16 Harvard International Law Review 1

Paper

Constitutional Entrenchment of Environmental Protection: A Comparative Analysis of Experiences Abroad

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Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights (S. J. Powell)

Author

Stephen J. Powell

Keywords

human rights, ethical obligations, legal quality, power, global harm principle, international law, accountability, human rights violations, transnational corporations, U.S. Alien Tort Statute

Abstract

This article examines whether customs, treaties, and historical facts have caused the ethical human rights obligations of economically powerful states to assume a legal quality. The author argues that the legal quality of these obligations may arise from the global harm principle of international law and human rights obligations found in treaties. As a consequence, states may be held accountable for the human rights violations of transnational corporations. Further, the author examines the possibility of pursuing claims under the U.S. Alien Tort Statute for torts committed in violation of international treaties as another avenue for enforcing human rights obligations.

Citation

(2007) Alberta Law Review 45 (2) pp. 443-56

Paper

Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights

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The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment (C. Tracy)

Author

Christopher Tracy

Keywords

NGOs, non-governmental organisations, human rights, environment, dignity, future generations, indigenous right, environmental protection, Rio, legitimacy, international relations

Extract

“Part I of this Article will address the history and development of NGOs. Particular attention will be given to the rationale espoused by various NGOs for their participation in certain global concerns or activities. The connections between human rights and environment NGOs will be discussed, as will the reason for this connection – namely, a “dignity” concern for living human beings, the living plant, those yet to be born and the future of this world. This connection between human rights and environmental organizations is most evident in the protection of indigenous peoples and their traditional lands.

Part II will continue the discussion by examining links between human rights and the environmental in international instruments. Although, there have been numerous connections made in previous human rights and environmental documents, the focus here will be on the developments made in Rio.

Part III will examine the tensions arising out of attempts to prioritize when human rights and environment concerns are to be addressed […]

Part IV will suggest that the NGOs’ diverse participation should continue well into the future before any major prioritization will have to occur. […]

This discussion will conclude with the suggestion that NGO involvement in the international regime will continue to grow and, as it does, a balance must be sought between legitimacy in action and vitality in mission” (pp. 24-25)

Citation

(1994) Journal of International Law and Practice 3 pp. 21-46

Paper

The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment

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Humanitarian Law and the Environment (M. N. Schmitt)

Author(s)

Michael N. Schmitt

Keywords

war crime, environmental damage, environmental degradation, international humanitarian law, environmental consequences of warfare, International Criminal Court, military operations, environmental safeguarding, weapons, treaty law

Excerpt

“Introduction

When the Rome Conference adopted the Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July 1998, it included as a war crime the causation of “widespread, long term and severe damage to the natural environment.” Such “greening” of international humanitarian law promises heightened sensitivity to the environmental consequences of warfare as we enter the new millennium. The ICC Statue provision, however, is but the most recent example of a growing environmental consciousness vis-a-vis military operations that first began to surface over two decades ago.

This article catalogues those aspects of international humanitarian law that safeguard the environment during armed conflict: it is intended primarily as a primer for those new to the subject. As will become apparent, humanitarian law has focused scant attention directly on the environment. Instead, it relies on conventional and customary humanitarian law that has only recent been recognized as having environmental consequence for the bulk of its environmental play. Following a brief review of the historical context from which the law emerged, discussion turns to four types of relevant norms: 1) specific environmental provisions in humanitarian law; 2) limits on the use of particular weapons capable of causing environmental damage; 3) non-environment specific treaty law which may safeguard the environment in certain circumstances; and 4) customary humanitarian law offering environmental protection. Although the article’s tenor is primarily descriptive, in order to stimulate further reflection, the final section provides an abridged assessment of the applicable normative environment; it suggests that while the environment component of international law governing warfare is not vacuous, there is certainly room for improvement.” (265-6)

Citation

(2000) 28 Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 3 pp. 265-323

Paper

Humanitarian Law and the Environment

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Adverse Effects of the Illicit Movement and Dumping of Hazardous, Toxic, and Dangerous Wastes and Products on the Enjoyment of Human Rights (C. U. Gwam)

Author(s)

Cyril Uchenna Gwam

Keywords

toxic waste, developing countries, development, human rights, UN Commission on Human Rights, environmental destruction, environmental protection

Excerpt

“Introduction

This Article discusses the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of hazardous, toxic, and dangerous wastes and products in developing countries, and the effect of such activities on the enjoyment of human rights, solely from the perspective of the resolutions of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The most prominent international instrument of this kind is the U.N. 1989 Basel Convention, to which other relevant human rights resolutions have made reference. In view of its prominence and importance, this Article analyzes the Basel Convention without losing its focus on human rights. […]” (428-9)

Citation

(2002) Florida Journal of International Law 14 Spring. pp. 427-74.

Paper

Adverse Effects of the Illicit Movement and Dumping of Hazardous, Toxic, and Dangerous Wastes and Products on the Enjoyment of Human Rights

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