Review of The Global Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights, by Joshua C. Gellers

Abstract

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:
Over the past five decades, many scholars have debated the normative pros and cons of granting legal recognition to the right to live in a healthy environment, a relative newcomer to the library of human rights. Since 1976, this right has spread rapidly across the world, securing constitutional protection and being incorporated into environmental laws in more than 100 nations, and gaining recognition in regional treaties ratified by at least 135 nations (Boyd 2012).

Despite this unprecedented convergence of human rights law and environmental law, few scholars have explored the factors influencing the emergence of these remarkable legal developments, or the practical consequences for people and ecosystems. Joshua C. Gellers, with his slim but idea-filled book, The Global Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights, is at the forefront of an exciting new wave of empirical scholarship.

Citation

Boyd, David R. Review of The Global Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights, by Joshua C. Gellers. Global Environmental Politics, vol. 18 no. 4, 2018, p. 132-134. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/709687.

Author(s)

David R Boyd

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The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment

Abstract

The right to a healthy environment has been the subject of extensive philosophical debates that revolve around a key question: Should rights to clean air, water, and soil be entrenched in law, in the constitutions of democratic states?

In The Environmental Rights Revolution, David Boyd, one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers, answers this question by moving beyond theoretical debate to measure the practical effects of enshrining the right to a healthy environment in constitutions. His analysis of 193 constitutions and the laws and court decisions of more than 100 nations shows how the constitutional right to a healthy environment has been incorporated in legislation and is being judicially enforced in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Nations with constitutional protections have stronger environmental laws, enhanced enforcement, greater government accountability, and better access to justice, information, and public participation in decision making than nations without such provisions. As a result, they also have smaller ecological footprints, rank higher on comprehensive indices of environmental performance, and have reduced pollution faster.

This important and timely book not only demonstrates that enshrining environmental protection into national constitutions has the power to make sustainability a priority, it tells inspiring stories about the difference the right to a healthy environment is making in people’s lives.

Citation

Boyd, David R. The Environmental Rights Revolution: a Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment. UBC Press, 2012.

Author(s)

David R Boyd

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The Implicit Constitutional Right to Live in a Healthy Environment

Abstract

The right to a healthy environment has rapidly gained constitutional protection around the world. In at least twenty countries, recognition of the right to a healthy environment first occurred through court decisions determining that it is implicit in other constitutional provisions, primarily the right to life. The right is now recognized explicitly in the constitutions of 90 countries spanning Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, and is recognized as an implicit and enforceable constitutional right in at least twelve additional countries. The decisions of international courts and tribunals provide further support for concluding that the right to life necessarily includes the right to a healthy environment.

Citation

Boyd, David R. “The Implicit Constitutional Right to Live in a Healthy Environment.” Review of European Community & International Environmental Law 20, no. 2 (2011): 171–79. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2011.00701.x.

Author(s)

David R Boyd

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The Implicit Constitutional Right to Live in a Healthy Environment (D. R. Boyd)

Author David R. Boyd Keywords constitutional rights, healthy environment, environmental rights, human rights Abstract The right to a healthy environment has rapidly gained constitutional protection around the world. In at least twenty countries, recognition of the right to a healthy environment first occurred through court decisions determining that it is implicit in other constitutional provisions, primarily the right to life. […]

Constitutional rights to an ecologically balanced environment (I. Larmuseau)

Author(s) Isabelle Larmuseau Keywords constitutional rights, ecologically balanced environment, environmental rights, environmental protection Abstract Distinguished speakers from several European and non-European countries were willing to come to Ghent on 28 September 2007, to provide an answer to the question if the right to an ecologically balanced environment should receive express provision in the constitution of […]