Chapter 4: The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Right to a Clean Environment
4. The European Convention on Human Rights and the human right to a clean environment* INTRODUCTION I. This chapter will focus on the human right to a clean environment and the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), seen from the perspective of the jurisprudence of the English courts. The chapter will consist of the following main sections: an introduction to the human right to a clean environment; the ECHR and the jurisprudence of the ECHR; a brief introduction to the 1998 Human Rights Act (HRA); and the relevant jurisprudence of English courts. II. INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUES CONCERNING THE HUMAN RIGHT TO A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT The issue of the human right to a clean environment has, for many years, been a subject of vigorous discussion.1 The focus of the discussion has been * This is a shortened and updated version of an Article: ‘The Human Right to a Clean Environment – Phantom or Reality? The European Court of Human Rights and English Courts Perspective on Balancing Rights in Environmental Cases’, with Jim Marshall, 76 Nordic Journal of International Law, at 103–151. 1 To mention a few of the numerous publications on this subject: see R. Desgagné, ‘Integrating Environmental Values into the European Convention on Human Rights’, 89 AJIL (1995) 263, at 263–94; M. Thorme, ‘Establishing Environment as Human Right’, 19 Den. J. Int’IL. & Pol’y (1991) 301, at 301–41; A. Boyle and M. Anderson (eds), Human Rights Approaches to...
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