This article traces the evolution of the Inter-American human rights system’s approaches to environmental protection, moving from indirect (and merely anthropocentric) approaches to a more ecocentric vision, based on the direct justiciability of the right to a healthy environment as a human right and on an acceptance of the intrinsic value of Nature. The article highlights Mexican jurisprudence on the protection of the environment, in particular its use of the concept of ‘diffuse interest’ as a means of extending legal standing to persons other than those directly affected by environmental harm. While the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) continues to make an important contribution to environmental protection indirectly, through the analysis of civil and political rights, it is suggested that the approaches to environmental protection being developed in the Inter-American system warrant consideration within the European system for the purpose of developing a more direct and comprehensive approach to ensuring protection of the right to a healthy environment, particularly given the challenges arising from cases pending before the ECtHR on climate justice, among others.
email@example.com. Jorge Calderón-Gamboa is a Secretary (Senior Judicial Clerk) at the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice. He was a Senior Coordinating Attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2007 to 2019 and a Visiting Lawyer (Seconded Jurist) at the European Court of Human Rights. He is an Independent Expert for the UN Harmony with Nature Programme and Visiting Professor at the UN-Mandated University for Peace. Parts of this article arise from reflections developed at the Conference ‘Human Rights for the Planet’ held in 2020 at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Julie Diane Recinos is an Advisor to the Chief Justice of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice. She was a Senior Coordinating Attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2008 to 2019. She is a Visiting Professor at the UN-Mandated University for Peace.
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