Joining the Aotearoa New Zealand Constitutional Debate: Constitutional Environmental Rights in Our Future ‘Constitution’
150 Pages Posted: 13 May 2015
Date Written: 2013
In 2013, the Constitutional Advisory Panel invited New Zealanders to think about our vision of what New Zealand should look like in the future and to consider how our constitutional arrangements would support that vision. In response, New Zealanders have suggested the inclusion of an environmental protection regime in our future constitutional landscape. The author supports this prevailing opinion. This paper will use the experiences gained from international and regional human rights and environmental law treaties and other countries’ constitutions to explore the best model to achieve that goal. This comparative law analysis will identify the key theoretical and legal issues that must be addressed by Parliament to ensure the successful implementation and enforcement of an environmental protection regime through the courts. While international developments are important, any environmental constitutional framework must reflect New Zealand’s unique and distinctive history, environment, people, and cultural values. With this in mind, this paper will tentatively canvass a new environmental constitutional framework and lay foundations for further legal research and public debate.
Keywords: Anthropocentric Approach, Constitutional Environmental Rights, Ecocentric Approach, Environmental Human Rights
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation