The Public Trust Doctrine, Environmental Human Rights, and the Future of Private Property
New York University Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 16, p. 711, 2008
55 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2010
Date Written: June 28, 2008
A dynamic tension has long existed between those who would circumscribe the Earth's bounty for private use and those who would carefully allot and safeguard Earth's riches to satisfy human needs. The 1500-year old Public Trust Doctrine, and the much more recent movement to protect Environmental Human Rights, both express in law a belief that some resources should never be sequestered for private use, must be left for the public’s enjoyment, and must be stewarded by those in power. This paper explores the differences and synergies between the Public Trust Doctrine and Environmental Human rights, and explores how these doctrines constrain what counts as “private,” “property,” and “ownership,” with extensive analysis from the doctrines' uses in India, South Africa, California, and Pennsylvania.
Keywords: Public Trust Doctrine, Environmental Law, Human Rights, Property Rights, Property Law, International Law, India, South Africa, California, Pennsylvania
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation