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Human rights and environmental wrongs : achieving environmental justice through human rights law

Lewis, Bridget (2011) Human rights and environmental wrongs : achieving environmental justice through human rights law. In Carrington, Kerry (Ed.) Proceedings of Crime, Justice and Social Democracy : An International Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 265-279.

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Abstract

The links between the environment and human rights are well established internationally. It is accepted that environmental problems impact on individuals’ and communities’ enjoyment of rights which are guaranteed to them under international human rights law. Environmental issues also impact on governments’ capacity to protect and fulfil the rights of their citizens. In addition to these links between the environment and human rights, it is argued that human rights principles offer a strategy for addressing environmental injustice. The justice implications of environmental problems are well documented, with many examples where pollution, deforestation or other degradation disproportionately impacts upon poorer neighbourhoods or areas populated by minority groups. On the international level, there are environmental injustices which exist between developed and developing states. Further, there are also potential injustices for future generations. This paper investigates the role of human rights principles in addressing these instances of environmental injustice, and argues that the framework of human rights norms provides an approach to environmental governance which can help to minimise injustice and promote the interests of those groups who are most adversely affected. Further, it suggests that the human rights enforcement mechanisms which exist at international law could be utilised to lend more weight to claims for more equitable environmental policies.

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ID Code: 46690
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: human rights, environmental justice, climate change
ISBN: 9780987153326
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Environmental and Natural Resources Law (180111)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Human Rights Law (180114)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 31 Oct 2011 08:17
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2011 05:43

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