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Environmental Law Dimensions of Human Rights$
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Ben Boer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736141

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736141.001.0001

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Human Rights and the Environment

Human Rights and the Environment

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(p.201) 7 Human Rights and the Environment
Environmental Law Dimensions of Human Rights

Alan Boyle

Oxford University Press

The relationship between human rights and environmental protection in international law is far from straightforward. A new attempt to codify and develop international law on this subject was initiated by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The chapter explores three possibilities for codification and progressive development: Procedural rights are the most important environmental addition to human rights law since the 1992 Rio Declaration, and any attempt at codification must take this into account. Second, there is a case for articulating a right to a decent environment in substantive terms, but it should be located within the framework of economic and social rights. Third, the extra-territorial application of existing human rights treaties to transboundary pollution and global climate change remains unresolved. If human rights law is to address such issues it needs to treat the global environment and climate change as the common concern of humanity.

Keywords:   human rights law, environmental law, European Court of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, Aarhus Convention, procedural rights, substantive rights, codification of environmental rights

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