A Bill of Rights, Environmental Rights and the UK Constitution
Public Law, Forthcoming
24 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2010 Last revised: 18 May 2013
Date Written: September 7, 2010
This paper seeks to analyse ongoing constitutional debates in the UK on the relationship between the Human Rights Act (1998) (HRA) and a British Bill of Rights with particular reference to environmental issues. In doing so, the paper also addresses some of the more general constitutional and human rights issues arising out of the Bill of Rights debate. The outline of the paper is as follows. Part one will address some of the constitutional issues arising out of the Bill of Rights debate while briefly outlining some of the jurisprudence from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in relation to the environment. Following this, the next part discusses some of the questions that a Bill of Rights will raise in relation to devolution. Finally, the paper will discuss the environmental implications of a Bill of Rights.
It is argued that that the process of creating a British Bill of Rights is far from straight forward. This is particular so with reference to environmental provisions. The main challenges relate to addressing the relationship between the HRA and a Bill of Rights as well as the numerous complications which arise out of the devolution arrangements. Notwithstanding this, it is argued that environmental provisions in a Bill of Rights can have some positive effects. At the same time, however, a Bill of Rights containing environmental provisions is no panacea and it will not solve all environmental problems facing the UK.
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