Table of Contents

The Search for Environmental Justice

The Search for Environmental Justice

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Paul Martin, Sadeq Z. Bigdeli, Trevor Daya-Winterbottom, Willemien du Plessis and Amanda Kennedy

This is an extended and remarkable excursus into the evolving concept of environmental justice. This key book provides an overview of the major developments in the theory and practice of environmental justice and illustrates the direction of the evolution of rights of nature. The work exposes the diverse meanings and practical uses of the concept of environmental justice in different jurisdictions, and their implications for the law, society and the environment.

Chapter 2: The effectiveness of the law in providing access to environmental justice: an introduction

Brian J. Preston SC

Subjects: environment, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


Environmental justice includes three concepts: distributive justice, procedural justice and justice as recognition. In this chapter, I will consider the ways in which the law supports (or fails to support) these in practice. Distributive justice concerns the distribution of environmental goods (or benefits) and environmental bads (or burdens). Distributive justice is promoted by giving substantive rights to members of the community of justice to share in environmental benefits (such as clean air, water and land, green space and a healthful ecology) and to prevent, mitigate, remediate or be compensated for environmental burdens (such as pollution and loss of green space, biological diversity or ecological integrity). Claims about distributive justice involve addressing three questions: who are the members of the community of justice to whom distributive justice is due? What are the environmental benefits and burdens to be distributed? And, what are the principles or criteria of distribution to be applied? Just arrangements should be assessed not only in simple distributive terms, but also in how distributions of benefits and burdens affect the capabilities of members of the community of justice to achieve valuable functionings (both activities and states of existence or being).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information