Environmental Human Rights: Paradigm of Indivisibility
Widener University Delaware Law School
January 19, 2011
Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-05
While scholars may disagree as to the scope and depth of the indivisibility of rights, or about the nature of the indivisibility claim, it is clear that the specter of indivisibility is most pertinent with regard to some rights than others. The constitutional right to a healthy environment is perhaps the paradigmatic example of the indivisibility claim. Environmental rights are inseparable from many other rights, including (depending on the factual nature of the claim) the right to life, to health, to dignity, to subsistence, to employment, to property and so on. Sometimes the relationship between the environmental and other claims is positive, as when remedying the environmental damage will promote the right to health, but sometimes it is negative, as when, for instance, jobs are lost when the environmental damage is remedied. This paper explores the interlocking nature of environmental and other human rights and suggests how courts should respond to the challenge of indivisibility in the context of enforcing fundamental environmental rights.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: environmental law, human rights, indivisbility, constitutional law
JEL Classification: K32
Date posted: January 21, 2011
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