The European Court of Human Rights and International Environmental Law
Chapter 5 in John H Knox and Ramin Pejan (eds), The Human Right to a Healthy Environment (CUP 2018), ISBN 9781108367530
13 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 15, 2018
This paper considers the relationship between international environmental law and the case law from the European Court of Human Rights which engages with environmental rights. The paper considers what impact the potential creation of a right to a healthy environment in international law might have on the Court’s case law in light of the Court's tendency to rely on international environmental rules in support of its reasoning. In light of this, the paper finds that the creation of a right to a healthy environment in international law might provide the Court with further impetus and support for developing its environmental rights case law. On the other hand, the fact that the Court has, through mildly activist means of interpretation, been able to accommodate modern concerns for environmental harms (notwithstanding the inherent limitations in the Court’s case law), suggests that the absence of a right to a healthy environment on the international plane does not necessarily exclude the development of environmental rights jurisprudence in regional human rights forums.
Keywords: Environmental Law, Environmental Rights, Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights, International Environmental Law
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