Environmental Dignity Rights

The Effectiveness of Environmental Law, (Ed. Sandrine Maljean-Dubois), 2017 Forthcoming

Widener University Delaware Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 17-02

22 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Erin Daly

Erin Daly

Widener University Delaware Law School

James May

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: December 14, 2016

Abstract

The threats to human rights caused by environmental degradation – including those caused by climate change – are increasingly evident. And yet, there continues to be confusion and lack of consensus about how human rights will be affected, as demonstrated at the recent climate talks in Paris and Marrakech. Taking better advantage of the role of constitutionally-instantiated dignity rights can help to diffuse this dissonance. Most of the effects that environmental degradation has on people can be seen in threats to their ability to live in dignity, including the ability to fully develop one's personality, to live in community, and to claim other rights. The right to dignity, though rooted in international law, is recognized in most of the world's constitutions and a robust jurisprudence of dignity rights has been developing in many countries. We conclude that environmental outcomes – including climate change – can and should be informed by dignity rights and corresponding jurisprudence, a synthesis we call "environmental dignity rights."

Keywords: human dignity, environmental law, constitutional rights, climate change

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Daly, Erin and May, James, Environmental Dignity Rights (December 14, 2016). The Effectiveness of Environmental Law, (Ed. Sandrine Maljean-Dubois), 2017 Forthcoming; Widener University Delaware Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 17-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885500

Erin Daly

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States
302-477-2143 (Phone)
304-477-2257 (Fax)

James May (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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