Tag Archives: legitimacy

The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment (C. Tracy)


Christopher Tracy


NGOs, non-governmental organisations, human rights, environment, dignity, future generations, indigenous right, environmental protection, Rio, legitimacy, international relations


“Part I of this Article will address the history and development of NGOs. Particular attention will be given to the rationale espoused by various NGOs for their participation in certain global concerns or activities. The connections between human rights and environment NGOs will be discussed, as will the reason for this connection – namely, a “dignity” concern for living human beings, the living plant, those yet to be born and the future of this world. This connection between human rights and environmental organizations is most evident in the protection of indigenous peoples and their traditional lands.

Part II will continue the discussion by examining links between human rights and the environmental in international instruments. Although, there have been numerous connections made in previous human rights and environmental documents, the focus here will be on the developments made in Rio.

Part III will examine the tensions arising out of attempts to prioritize when human rights and environment concerns are to be addressed […]

Part IV will suggest that the NGOs’ diverse participation should continue well into the future before any major prioritization will have to occur. […]

This discussion will conclude with the suggestion that NGO involvement in the international regime will continue to grow and, as it does, a balance must be sought between legitimacy in action and vitality in mission” (pp. 24-25)


(1994) Journal of International Law and Practice 3 pp. 21-46


The Roots of Influence: Nongovernmental Organizations and the Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment


Human Rights and Environmental Regulation (R. M. Bratspies)


Rebecca M. Bratspies


environment, regulation, BP Oil Spill, United States, US, legal obligations, participations, fairness, accountability, legitimacy


Because environmental regulators exercise vast discretion against a background of scientific uncertainty, the background assumptions they use to guide their decisionmaking are particularly influential. This article suggests that were federal regulators to view themselves as human rights decisionmakers, we might well see a new kind of regulatory decisionmaking emerge–one not only more responsive and transparent but also more likely to enjoy the trust of the American public. Drawing from the BP Oil Spill and the United States regulatory response to climate change this article shows how human rights norms might enrich domestic regulatory processes and help environmental regulators implement their statutory mission of protecting the public welfare. It demonstrates how interpreting domestic legal obligations through the lens of human rights would enhance a commitment to participation, fairness and accountability, thereby making the domestic regulatory process not only better and fairer, but also more likely to be perceived as legitimate by the general public. The article concludes by pointing out some key obstacles the human rights approach for achieving environmental ends.


(2012) 19 New York University Environmental Law Journal 225.


Human Rights and Environmental Regulation