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Environmental Principles and the Right to a Quality Environment. Ben Boer (Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17/05; January 2017)

This contribution traces the history of environmental rights over the past few decades, focusing on international and regional human rights instruments, as well as case law. It does so in the context of the environmental principles associated with environmental rights. It explores the meaning of a ‘quality environment, and canvasses the distinction between procedural and substantive rights in the environmental realm. The work of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to environment is covered.

The constitutionalization and legislative enactment of the right to environment are explored. The role of the courts in addressing environmental rights is briefly looked at. Research gaps are identified, and areas for further research are also set out. A comprehensive bibliography is included.( Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17/05; January 2017).

This contribution begins by exploring the meaning of ‘quality environment, and briefly traces the history of the idea of environmental rights from the 1970’s to the present at international, regional and national level. It does so in the context of the environmental principles associated with environmental rights.The work of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to environment is briefly covered. The growing trend of constitutionalization of the right to environment is set out, and a research agenda to fill current gaps is suggested.

 

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