Human Rights and the Environment: Where Next?

Alan Boyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The relationship between human rights and environmental protection in international law is far from straightforward. A new attempt to codify and develop international law on this subject was initiated by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. The chapter explores three possibilities for codification and progressive development: Procedural rights are the most important environmental addition to human rights law since the 1992 Rio Declaration, and any attempt at codification must take this into account. Second, there is a case for articulating a right to a decent environment in substantive terms, but it should be located within the framework of economic and social rights. Third, the extra-territorial application of existing human rights treaties to transboundary pollution and global climate change remains unresolved. If human rights law is to address such issues it needs to treat the global environment and climate change as the common concern of humanity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Law Dimensions of Human Rights
EditorsBen Boer
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9780198736141
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameCollected Courses of the Academy of European Law


  • human rights law
  • environmental law
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • Aarhus Convention
  • procedural rights
  • substantive rights
  • codification of environmental rights


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