Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Malgosia Fitzmaurice, David M. Ong and Panos Merkouris
Chapter 14: Human Rights to a Clean Environment: Procedural Rights
Jona Razzaque Introduction This chapter aims to provide an overview of the development of procedural environmental rights, and review the current interpretation, approaches and techniques of procedural rights in international and national laws. Procedural rights deal with the process through which a decision (administrative or judicial) is taken and typically encompass public consultation, information provision and access to the courts (Ebbesson, 1997: 70–5). The core issues involved are procedural fairness, allowing people to be part of the process, and community empowerment, enabling people to take an active role in decisions affecting their lives. Substantive and procedural rights are often connected: for example, a substantive right to a clean environment usually requires procedural rights to be heard in decisions that might affect those substantive rights (Ebbesson, 1997: 63–9). Access to information, public participation, and access to justice improve the credibility, effectiveness, and accountability of governmental decision-making processes (Petkova et al., 2002: 121–32). Involving people at the early stage of the decision-making process creates greater trust in the process and decreases the possibility of later conflict. The right to participation allows people to be part of the decision-making process through consultation and comments, and to have their opinions heard. Participation enables the participating communities to hold public authorities accountable for implementation and improves the efficiency and credibility to government processes. Commonly used participatory tools include public hearings, notice and consultation, citizen ombudsmen and judicial review mechanisms (Dannemaier, 1997: 13–14). The right to participation needs to be supported by...
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.