Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment

Edited by Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé

Bringing together leading international scholars in the field, this Research Handbook interrogates, from various angles and positions, the fractious relationship between human rights and the environment and between human rights and environmental law. The Handbook provides researchers and students with a fertile source of reflection and engagement with this most important of contemporary legal relationships. Law’s complex role in the mediation of the relationship between humanity and the living order is richly reflected in this timely and authoritative collection.
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Chapter 7: Property rights, environmental justice and worldly order – lessons from natural law

Sean Coyle


This Chapter provides an analysis of the relationship between property rights and justice in the context of the international environment. It suggests that the traditional dichotomy of anthropocentric and ecocentric viewpoints sheds no useful light on the question of justice, and that the problem is in reality one which demands to be considered from the perspective of natural law. The main body of the essay represents a gesture in the direction of such an account, as it can be collected from the thought of Aquinas and Grotius.

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