Global Values, Transnational Expression: From Aarhus to Escazú
Veerel Heyvaert and Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli (eds) Research Handbook on Transnational Environmental Law (Edward Elgar) forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2019 Last revised: 26 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 12, 2019
Principle 10 of Rio Declaration embodies a key philosophy of international environmental law, that environmental decisions are best handled with the participation of those concerns. Underlying Principal 10 is a commitment to the values of democracy transparency and public participation. The earliest embodiment of Principle 10 in transnational environmental law was the Aarhus Convention, but despite the best efforts of its champions, membership of the Aarhus Convention failed to move from the transnational to the international, and in its twenty-one years it has remained largely a European venture. Instead, in 2018 The Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin American and the Caribbean (the Escazú Convention) was adopted, a bespoke Principle 10 agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean. This chapter examines how global values of environmental law (specifically, democracy, transparency and participation) find transnational expression in these sibling regional agreements, highlighting the ways in which these two instruments differ and examining reasons for this difference. Finally, this chapter reflects on the ways in which transnational environmental law, as expressed in regional agreements, allows for different legal cultures to elaborate on core values of international environmental law.
Keywords: Transnational environmental law, democracy, transparency, participation, Aarhus Convention, Escazú Agreement
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