environmental rights, ecocentric, human rights, law, litigation, wildlife
Environmental Rights offers new perspectives on contemporary debates over rights and environmental issues, criticising the traditional ecocentric formulation and the view that it is meaningful to speak of environmental rights as a sub-set of human rights, infringed when individuals experience an environmental quality falling below a recognized standard. Drawing on key theories of contemporary philosophers and jurists, as well as case reports from judicial decisions in English, European and US courts, the book examines recent developments within environmental law and policy in the UK and the European Union. Specific rights of the individual are examined – the right to clean air and water, access to information, the right to participate in environmental decisions – as well as practical obstacles to the exercising of such rights, including problems of scientific evidence, high cost of litigation, legal recognition of environmental pressure groups. Beginning with an examination of the notion of rights to the environment and to the identification of such rights, the book moves on to describe the arena (town and country planning) in which many of the subsequent debates over rights have originated. The rights discourse is then developed in the context of specific elements of the environment: the atmosphere, water, ionising radiation, land wildlife, before the final chapter discusses the legal protection currently enjoyed by certain animal species, and examines the idea of ecocentric rights. Christopher Miller concludes that the environment does not lend itself to a rights discourse but rather one which stresses the important duties which individuals must assume if environmental threats to human welfare are to be averted.
Chris Miller, Environmental Rights: Critical Perspectives (Routledge, 2012)