Tag Archives: Environmental information

Is Access to Environmental Information a Fundamental Human Right? (S. Kravchenko)

Author(s)

Svitlana Kravchenko

Keywords

environmental information, human rights, right of access to information, democracy, disclosure, decision-making

Abstract

Can access to information held by the State be seen as a fundamental right of the individual and a crucial component of democracy? What about access to environmental information? This Article attempts to answer these questions by exploring international treaties and agreements, national constitutions, and national information laws. The Article starts by providing some background and history on the issue of public access to government records. It analyzes the extent of the right of access to information, restrictions on access to information, procedures for obtaining information from governmental agencies, and remedies for violating the right of access to information. It also identifies problems that frequently arise in the field of public access to information and makes recommendations for promoting public access to environmental information, based on examples where such practices are already in place. Access to information allows the public to be aware of governmental decisions that can impact the environment and individual lives. It also allows the public to participate in criticizing, and thereby improving governmental decision-making. This ultimately can help to prevent harmful activities that can cause significant damage to the health of people and the environment. The Article contends that meaningful access to information must include these key principles:

• Maximum disclosure and transparency of governmental files should exist;

• Any exceptions for access to information should be narrowly drawn, with only limited and justifiable exemptions;

• Information should be provided free of charge or at reasonable cost; and

• Administrative or judicial remedies for denial of access to information should be available.

Citation

(2009) 11 Oregon Review of International Law 227

Paper

Is Access to Environmental Information a Fundamental Human Right? 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Eco-justice: linking human rights and the environment (A. Sachs and JA Peterson)

Author/s

A Sachs and JA Peterson

Keywords

Grassroots movement, environment, human rights, environmental information, confrontations, dumping, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, environmental justice

Abstract

This Worldwatch report affirms that the grassroots movement to improve the environment and human rights should be operable at the regional and international levels. Grassroots groups have demonstrated the success of empowering people and of the protection of civil liberties in environmental preservation. The author’s stance is that “potential polluters and profligate consumers” would not be able to treat vulnerable populations as expendable and would be forced to seek other alternatives to polluting activities and overconsumption, under certain conditions. All vulnerable members of society must have access to environmental information, exercise their rights of free speech, and have a role in determining their access to resources. Prevention is considered less costly by reducing production of hazardous wastes than by increasing the number of dump sites. The preventive lesson learned from human rights activists is that confrontation is necessary between the “dumpers and the dumped on” in order to secure the health and well-being of future generations. Although countries may never agree on a definition of environmental justice, there is global agreement on protecting the basic human rights that make achieving environmental justice possible. Justice is viewed as unattainable without citizen participation in key decisions. The environmental movement has been successful in development of scientific solutions to environmental degradation. Joining forces with human rights activists gives impetus to the movement to get environmental reforms implemented. Irresponsibility concerning protection of the environment is expected to stop when the elites themselves become aware that all humankind is affected by global warming and the survival of all mankind is at stake. This short volume addresses the following topics: how Greenpeace and Amnesty International are learning from each other; the human rights focus on individuals; environmental issues that cross national borders; a human rights framework for sustainable development; and environmental justice.

Citation

Washington, D.C., Worldwatch Institute, 1995 Dec. 68 (Worldwatch Paper 127)

Publication

Eco-justice: linking human rights and the environment.

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Access to environmental information in Ireland: implementation challenges (A. Ryall)

Author

Aine Ryall

Keywords

Access to information, EU law, Environmental information, Implementation, Ireland, Legal professional privilege, Public authorities

Abstract

Examines the implementation of Directive 2003/4 in Ireland under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 as a case study of the challenges it poses. Considers the scope of the discretion it affords to Member States. Reviews the decision-making of the Irish Commissioner for Environmental Information, including on: (1) the definitions of “environmental information” and “public authority”; (2) the duty of public authorities to create records; (3) charges; and (4) legal professional privilege. Comments on the scope of the Commissioner’s jurisdiction.

Citation

(2011) 23(1) Journal of Environmental Law 45-71

Paper

Access to environmental information in Ireland : implementation challenges

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Access to environmental information (V. Edwards)

Author

Vanessa Edwards

Keywords

Environment, Administrative law, Agriculture, European Union,  Access to information, EU law, Environmental information, Plant protection products, Trade secrets

Abstract

Reports on the European Court of Justice ruling in Stichting Natuur en Milieu v College voor de Toelating van Gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en Biociden (formerly College voor de Toelating van Bestrijdingsmiddelen) (C-266/09) on whether Directive 2003/4 was applicable to a request for information submitted as part of an application for a plant protection product authorisation since it was in force on the date that the request was refused. Considers whether the information requested was “environmental information” within the meaning of art.2 of the Directive. Assesses whether it was a trade secret.

Citation

(2011) 23(1) Journal of Environmental Law 143-144

Paper

Access to environmental information

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

International Ideal and Local Practice – Access to Environmental Information and Local Government in Poland (P. A. Banas)

Author

Pawel A. Banas

Keywords

Access to information, Electronic government, Environmental information, Poland

Abstract

Examines how effectively the principle of providing access to environmental information is realised in practice in Poland . Outlines the international, EU and national law sources of the principle, and its incorporation in Polish policy documents, including the state’s e-government policy. Discusses the findings of research exploring citizens’ ability to access environmental information in urban and rural settings. Considers the sources of deficiencies.

Citation

(2010) 20(1) Environmental Policy and Governance

Paper

International Ideal and Local Practice – Access to Environmental Information and Local Government in Poland

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedintumblrmail