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Taking dignity seriously? A dignity approach to environmental disputes before human rights courts

Dina Townsend

Keywords: human dignity; human rights courts; environmental adjudication

Can human rights courts use the concept of human dignity to address environmental threats to human rights? Düwell has recently argued that if we take human dignity to be the normative core of human rights, then the human rights regime ought to change in response to changing threats to dignity. 1 Düwell reasons that in an era of climate change and scarce resources, ‘taking dignity seriously’ necessitates the development of human rights to respond to these new threats. 2 Looking at the practice of human rights courts, this article asks what taking human dignity seriously entails and whether a human dignity approach to environmental cases results in better environmental outcomes in the field of human rights law.

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