Chapter 12: Global values, transnational expression: from Aarhus to Escaz
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The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters embodies a key philosophy of international environmental law, that transparency and public participation are essential to environmental protection and environmental justice. Despite the best efforts of its champions however, the Aarhus Convention has remained largely a European venture. Instead of achieving an unambiguously international status, the Aarhus Convention has provided a theme, for transnational variation, and in 2018 the Escazú Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin American and the Caribbean was adopted. This contribution examines how international values of environmental law find transnational expression in these sibling regional agreements, highlighting the ways in which these two instruments differ and examining reasons for this difference. It also considers the scope for the development of other regional instruments, and thus the transnational potential of the international commitment in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration. Finally, this contribution reflects on the ways in which transnational environmental law, as expressed in regional agreements, allows for different legal cultures to elaborate on core values of international environmental law.

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