Environmental Rights

International Legal Research

Information about Environmental Rights in free legal resources:

Treaties & Agreements

International Organizations

Jurisprudence $ Commentary

European Union

IP Law

Environmental Rights

During the second half of the XXth century we have seen the development, either under international or domestic laws, of certain ethic and political parameters and rules which are called human rights.

The establishment, for instance, of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the provision in many constitutions of systems for an effective judicial protection of these rights are fair signs of their development in order to reach certain common legal grounds to achieve somehow sustainable justice or the law for sustainable development.

From another perspective, the real situation shows that, subject to some exceptions, national courts do not assume customary international law or principles of international law of the environment to the extent that individuals, NGOs and municipalities can derive rights from their violation.


Existing mechanisms

The current lack of judicial protection of environmental rights by national courts are not compensated through the availability of international judicial review. There are various international courts such as the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the Court of Justice of the European Community (CJEC) and the ECHR. Furthermore, the WTO dispute settlement bodies may decide also on environmental matters.

Need for international arbitration and conciliation

One of the main, if not the major, task of institutionalised arbitration and conciliation of environmental disputes would be to protect the individual right to an adequate environment by granting individuals and non-governmental organisations access to justice and develop the substantive right to the environment based on existing international human rights, some of the principles just mentioned and statutory law applicable under the relevant conflicts rules. This would comprise prevention, restitution and compensation of environmental harm. The deficit analysis presented above clearly shows that individuals and NGOs are not adequately protected in international disputes on the environment and their role must be clearly strengthened.

Some Arbitration Courts and Tribunals

Resources and International Decisions:

  • Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
  • ICC International Court of Arbitration
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
  • International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation
  • Permanent Court of Arbitration

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