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Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens, Katie Woolaston, Manuel Solis, Kate Owens, Saiful Karim, Cameron Holley and Evan Hamman

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Anna Berti Suman, Sven Schade and Yasuhito Abe

In this article, we investigate how citizens use data they gather as a rhetorical resource for demanding environmental policy interventions and advancing environmental justice claims. While producing citizen-generated data (CGD) can be regarded as a form of ‘social protest’, citizens and interested institutional actors still have to ‘justify’ the role of lay people in producing data on environmental issues. Such actors adopt a variety of arguments to persuade public authorities to recognize CGD as a legitimate resource for policy making and regulation. So far, scant attention has been devoted to inspecting the different legitimization strategies adopted to push for institutional use of CGD. In order to fill this knowledge gap, we examine which distinctive strategies are adopted by interested actors: existing legitimization arguments are clustered, and strategies are outlined, based on a literature review and exemplary cases. We explore the conceivable effects of these strategies on targeted policy uses. Two threads emerge from the research, entailing two complementary arguments: namely that listening to CGD is a governmental obligation and that including CGD is ultimately beneficial for making environmental decisions. We conclude that the most used strategies include showing the scientific strength and contributory potential of CGD, whereas environmental rights and democracy-based strategies are still rare. We discuss why we consider this result to be problematic and outline a future research agenda.

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Shazny Ramlan

Religious codes possess social control effects that can potentially change the behaviour of their adherents towards becoming pro-environment. In the case of Islam, Muslim-majority states since the time of the Prophet Muhammad have implemented Islamic environmental law to this effect. Unfortunately, accounts of its implementation today in the legal literature are scant, thereby requiring fresh insights that consider changes in the application of Islamic law in modern states. Generally, this article observes that the implementation of Islamic environmental law today takes two forms: first, implementation through constitutions; and, second, implementation through non-binding religio-legal instruments. Focusing on the second form, application in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia is analysed and evaluated. In these three Southeast Asian states non-binding religious rulings (fatwa) and mosque sermons (khutbah) have been used to implement Islamic environmental law. There are two key factors which contribute to ensuring that these non-binding instruments achieve their social control objectives: first, local legal and political contexts shaped by religion-state relations that help their implementation and legitimation; and, second, the pursuit of post-fatwa/khutbah follow-up action by religious authorities to put Islamic environmental law into actual practice.

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Tom Sparks, Visa Kurki and Saskia Stucki

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Brian Favre

Legal animal rights may, in the short term, offer an efficient means to improve the living conditions of animals and how they are treated by human societies. This article argues that this shift to adopt an animal rights framing of the human-animal interaction might also risk producing certain counterproductive effects. It suggests that there is a need for a broader reassessment of the relationships between the human and animal worlds. This article posits that the adoption of legal animal rights as a workable legal solution for the better protection of animals has been increasingly accepted because rights frameworks rely upon a core premise of Western jurisprudence, namely legal subjectivism and the epistemological and axiological assumptions it conveys. The article argues that such an individualistic and dualist approach to legal animal rights will ultimately reveal itself to be insufficient and unable to capture animals as members of concrete social and environmental entanglements. Rather, a true legal revolution is required, which would evoke an ecological understanding of law itself.

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Han Jiang, Patricia Blazey, Yan Wang and Hope Ashiabor

This article examines the comprehensive reform of the Chinese environmental governance system since the early 2010s after the goal of constructing ecological civilization was integrated into China's state policies. Legislative changes have been undertaken in order to improve the environmental governance system and juridical environmental protection has been reinforced to tackle environmental challenges through a revised public interest litigation system. China's current environmental public interest litigation system consists of civil environmental public interest litigation and administrative environmental public interest litigation. Only procuratorates have standing in administrative environmental public interest litigation whereas environmental non-government organizations who are permitted to undertake civil cases are in practice marginalized. Individuals, on the other hand, do not have standing in either civil or administrative environmental public interest litigation cases. The ecological and environmental damages litigation system has been established in order to recognize government agencies that have standing in protecting environmental public interest.

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Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens, Katie Woolaston, Manuel Solis, Kate Owens, Saiful Karim, Cameron Holley and Evan Hamman

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Gavin Byrne

In this article I show that the form of argument put forward by the climate change denial movement in the United States (US) closely resembles that used in Nazi Germany with regard to Nazi racial definitions. Each involves a rejection of scientific method. This rejection inherently lends itself to far-right politics, which is a philosophy of prejudice. The prevalence of such a philosophy in contemporary American political culture, exemplified through climate change denial, has arguably opened the door for a president of Trump's type. Nevertheless, the US Constitution is far more difficult to suspend than that of the Weimar Republic. As a result, US institutional safeguards against a philosophy of prejudice are likely to hold against a short-term assault on environmental justice in a way that the Weimar Republic's constitutional order did not against Nazism's assault on civil rights. The greater threat to environmental protection in the contemporary US situation is the slow erosion of democratic norms by the Trump administration.