Michelle Leighton Schwartz
Human Rights, Right to life, Rights of indigenous peoples, procedural human rights, human right to a healthy environment, environmental refugees, desertification, flooding, international finance institutions, International Court of Justice, International Labour Organisation
Environmental disasters are increasing. They often result from human activities, such as the disposal of toxic chemicals, the generation of power, and the exploitation of oil. Mismanagement of natural resources has caused severe watershed erosion, desertification and atmospheric pollution which, in turn, have seriously impaired human life. Although the human suffering associated with environmental destruction is growing, international and regional human rights institutions have yet to clarify the obligations of governments to protect and provide remedies for these victims. This paper seeks to inspire such clarification and suggests legal and institutional reforms toward that end.
(1993) 18 Yale Journal of International Law 355
International Legal Protection for Victims of Environmental Abuse
ECHR, HRA, private nuisance, statutory authority, public interest, human rights, environmental protection.
This article is an evaluation of the Court of Appeal decision in Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Ltd. that held a sewerage undertaker liable in nuisance for external flooding by foul water suffered on Marcic’s property. It was evident from the appeal that the Court would also have awarded damages under the HRA had the remedy in nuisance not been adequate. Nonetheless the House of Lords reversed the decision; they rejected the claim in both nuisance and human rights, inter alia, on the grounds that the statutory scheme for complaints and enforcement under the Water Industry Act 1991 acted as a shield against the HRA. Lowther’s concluding remarks in this article highlight the unfortunate consequences of the ruling made by their Lordships in the context of nuisance law and human rights.
(2002) 14(1) Environmental Law and Management, 17.
Sewers, non-feasance and human rights: the Marcic appeal.
Fanny Thornton (publication review)
IPCC, climate change, drought, flooding, famine, vulnerability, displacement, global warming, climate refugees, involuntary migration.
As early as 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that millions of people would be displaced by the effects of climate change, whether through drought, flooding, famine or other causes, presenting a significant challenge to the international community. Particularly impacted will be already vulnerable small island developing states, such as many island nations in the South Pacific Ocean. It is on this geographic region that David Corlett’s latest book focuses, drawing on the example of picturesque Tuvalu to highlight the lack of reliable provision for the rights of people whose livelihoods and, ultimately, survival are threatened by environmental change attributable to climate change. Although climate change displacement is receiving growing attention in both academic and policy circles, Corlett’s book is an early attempt to engage with this subject in the form of a more substantial publication.
(2009) 21(4) International Journal of Refugee Law, 851-853.
Stormy weather: The challenge of climate change and displacement.