The Environmental Jurisprudence of Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Chamber of the Costa Rican Supreme Court has actively implemented the constitutional right to a healthy environment. Since 1995, much of the case law of the Constitutional Chamber has concerned the application of article 50 of the Costa Rican Constitution, which sets forth the right to a healthy environment. The Constitutional Chamber has defined the …   Continue readingThe Environmental Jurisprudence of Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court

Environmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, was established in 1959 with the mandate to review alleged violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Since 1998, individuals can apply to the Court directly. The Court and the Convention are an essential part of …   Continue readingEnvironmental Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights

Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of India Relating to Environmental Protection

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution of 1949 provides for the fundamental rights to protection of life and personal liberty, stating that “[n]o person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” The Indian Supreme Court in a series of decisions has connected Article 21 with a right to a healthy …   Continue readingJurisprudence of the Supreme Court of India Relating to Environmental Protection

Indigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties who have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction. Only a State Party or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has the capacity to bring cases before the Court. The Court has developed a strong jurisprudence on …   Continue readingIndigenous Peoples’ Property Rights – Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Measures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court), which applies and interprets the American Convention on Human Rights in respect to the 20 State Parties that have agreed to the Court’s contentious jurisdiction, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the organ responsible for promoting the observance and defence of human rights in all Member …   Continue readingMeasures of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Protect Environmental Human Rights Defenders

Cost Rules for Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Ireland’s Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 seeks to minimize costs associated with qualifying environmental cases by requiring parties, with some exceptions noted below, to bear their own costs in litigation. According to the Act, the cost provisions apply to a “civil proceeding for the purpose of ensuring compliance with, or the enforcement of, a …   Continue readingCost Rules for Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

Faciladores Judiciales (Judicial Facilitators)

The Organisation of American States (OAS) began implementing a pilot of the judicial facilitators programme in Nicaragua in the late 1990s and it has grown to a well-established initiative in multiple Latin American countries. The objective of the programme is to improve access to justice among local communities where there have historically been barriers to access to …   Continue readingFaciladores Judiciales (Judicial Facilitators)

Decision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

The Yacqui Tribe from Sonora, Mexico, filed an amparo action against the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT/Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) concerning the construction of the Independencia aqueduct, which is designed to remove 60 million cubic metres of water from the Yaqui River to supply water to the city of Hermosillo. …   Continue readingDecision of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice: Amparo No. 631/2012 (Independencia Aqueduct)

Citizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

Many of the federal environmental laws in the United States allow members of the public to initiate lawsuits in federal court against actors, including corporations, that violate requirements imposed pursuant to federal environmental laws and regulations. Although these provisions are colloquially referred to as authorizations for “citizen suits,” they do not require …   Continue readingCitizen Suit Provisions in Environmental Law

Environmental Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

The Philippines’ Constitution includes as a State policy that “[t]he State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” The first major case the Court decided with regard to this clause was the Minors Oposa case, in which the plaintiffs filed a class action law suit on behalf …   Continue readingEnvironmental Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the Philippines

Mendoza Beatriz Silva v. National Government of Argentina

Section 41 of Argentina’s Constitution states: “All inhabitants are entitled to the right to a healthy and balanced environment fit for human development in order that productive activities shall meet present needs without endangering those of future generations; and shall have the duty to preserve it. As a first priority, environmental damage shall bring about the …   Continue readingMendoza Beatriz Silva v. National Government of Argentina

Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has enacted Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases that include many mechanisms to facilitate petitioners to bring cases before the Court. The Rules, which list as an objective “[t]o protect and advance the constitutional right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology,” include a broad standing provision for citizens …   Continue readingRules of Procedure for Environmental Cases

Land and Environment Court of New South Wales

Established in September 1980, the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales is the first specialist environmental superior court in the world. Located in Sydney, the court’s purposes include safeguarding and maintaining: equality of all before the law; access to justice; and fairness, impartiality and independence in decision-making processes that are consistently …   Continue readingLand and Environment Court of New South Wales

Amparo Cause of Action and the Principle of Intereses Difusos in Costa Rica

Article 48 of the Costa Rican Constitution provides for the remedy of amparo in order to maintain or re-establish the enjoyment of rights set out in the Constitution, as well as those of a fundamental nature established in international human rights treaties enforceable in Costa Rica. The amparo cause of action has been construed very broadly, to allow …   Continue readingAmparo Cause of Action and the Principle of Intereses Difusos in Costa Rica