Defining and Defending the Human Right to Water and its Minimum Core: Legal Construction and the Role of National Jurisprudence
George S. McGraw
DigDeep Right to Water Program; United Nations Mandated University for Peace
November 30, 2010
This article attempts to contribute to the ongoing academic dialogue surrounding water and its centrality to human life. Its purpose is to provide insight into what may be the most notable water management innovation in human history: the universal human right to water. Specifically, this essay seeks to outline the source and content of the right to water and that right’s “minimum core” – both concepts that have reached the level of positive international law. It will then summarize the recent work of numerous national courts “giving content” to the human right to water, addressing the ways in which the international legal norm is strengthened or challenged by this jurisprudence. Without an international body capable of enforcement, the human right to water depends on this activity of national courts to make its philosophical “universality” a matter of legal fact.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 123
Keywords: Water, Human Rights, Minimum Core, Right to Water, International Law, National Jurisprudence, Resource Law, United Nations, Human Development, Sanitation
Date posted: December 7, 2010 ; Last revised: March 17, 2015