Tag Archives: ethics

From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law (P.E. Taylor)

Author

Prudence E. Taylor

Keywords

International Law, Environmental Law, Ethics, Ecological Rights

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

One of the most interesting developments in international environmental law in recent years has been the attempt to create links between the ethics debate and law reform. These attempts began with the recognition that philosophical discussions concerning the relationship between humanity and nature, and the moral worth of nature, were not only relevant to understanding the limitations inherent within current law, they were also fundamental to creating new legal obligations. As a consequence the language of philosophers began to emerge in the context of legal discourse. Phrases such as the “intrinsic value” of nature, “respect for nature,” “responsibility for nature,” and “future generational equity” have often found a place in dialogue and writings concerning traditional and new environmental legal obligations. At the municipal level this trend can be traced back to the late 1970s, while developments at the international level occurred more slowly. Nevertheless, by 1991 one of the first texts on international environmental law acknowledged that “ethical and philosophical concepts are crucial in understanding the actual nature of environmental law and the challenge it poses to international law.” 1

The task of this article is to consider a link between environmental ethics and human rights law in the form of “ecological rights.” The phrase “ecological rights” is used here to describe human rights which are subject to certain limitations. These limitations recognize that individual freedoms are exercised in an ecological context, in addition to a social context. In comparison, “environmental rights” …

Citation

(1998) 10 Georgetown Environmental Law Review 309

Paper

From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law

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Ten practical advantages of a human rights approach to environmental advocacy (T. Kerns)

Author

Tom Kerns

Keywords

Human rights, Ethics, Relativism, Inquiries, Tribunals

Abstract

In order to draw any conclusion about what actions should be done, practical arguments require both a first premise which makes factual claims about the world and a second premise which asserts a value claim. This paper argues that among the second premise value claims available in environmental advocacy, a human rights approach includes distinct advantages that are not as available when relying only on other ethical approaches. The paper describes three practical measures that can be used in environmental human rights work—personal narratives, human rights assessment reports, and citizen-based inquiries and tribunals—and 10 practical advantages of using those and other human rights measures. These include helping to minimize the problem of moral relativism, appeals to compassion and reduction of ethical “slippage,” as well as thinking from the bottom up, access to a rhetorically persuasive vocabulary, and potentially useful legal advantages.

This paper argues that including a human rights dimension in environmental advocacy brings distinct practical advantages that are not as available when relying only on other ethical approaches. The paper describes three practical measures used in environmental human rights work and 10 practical advantages of using those measures.

Citation

Paper

Ten practical advantages of a human rights approach to environmental advocacy

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Environmental Justice and International Environmental Law (Gonzalez)

Author

Carmen G Gonzalez

Keywords

Environmental justice, sustainable development, equity, ethics, colonialism, post-colonialism, special and differential treatment, common but differentiated responsibility, ecological debt, climate change, human rights, environmental human rights, Aarhus Convention, transnational corporations

Abstract

Environmental justice lies at the heart of many environmental disputes between the global North and the global South as well as grassroots environmental struggles within nations. However, the discourse of international environmental law is often ahistorical and technocratic. It neither educates the North about its inordinate contribution to global environmental problems nor provides an adequate response to the concerns of nations and communities disproportionately burdened by poverty and environmental degradation. This article examines some of the root causes of environmental injustice among and within nations from the colonial period to the present, and discusses several strategies that can be used to integrate environmental justice into the broader corpus of international law so as to promote social and economic justice while protecting the planet’s natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Citation

Shawkat Alam, Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan, Tareq M R Chowdhury, Erika Techera (eds.),ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (Routledge, 2013); Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-11.

Publication

Environmental Justice and International Environmental Law

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Climate Change, Human Rights and Moral Thresholds (S. Caney)

Author(s)

Simon Caney

Keywords

frameworks, impacts of climate change, human rights-centered analysis, cost-benefit, security-based analyses, right to life, right to health, right to subsistence, ethics, anthropogenic climate change, violation of rights, policy, mitigation, adaptation, compensation, international relations, vulnerability

Abstract

EXTRACT:

“I argue that:

1. Climate change jeopardizes some key human rights.

2. A “human-rights”-centered analysis of the impacts of climate change enjoys several fundamental advantages over other dominant ways of thinking about climate change.

3. A “human-rights”-centered analysis of the impacts of climate change has far-reaching implications for our understanding of the kind of action that should be taken and who should bear the costs of combating climate change.”

Citation

Simon Caney, ‘Climate Change, Human Rights and Moral Thresholds’ in: Gardner et al., eds., Climate Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Paper

‘Climate Change’, Human Rights and Moral Thresholds’ in Climate Ethics

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Human Rights and the Environment: Redefining Fundamental Principles? (K. Bosselmann)

Author(s)

Klaus Bosselmann

Keywords

ethical issues, ethics, global regulation, human rights, environment

Abstract

Explores various ethical issues that must inform future global regulation of the environment.

Citation

Klaus Bosselmann, ‘Human Rights and the Environment: Redefining Fundamental Principles?’ in: B. Gleeson and N. Low eds., Governance for the Environment: Global Problems, Ethics and Democracy (Palgrave, 2001) 118-134

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment: Redefining Fundamental
Principles

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