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The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide ELAW. Global alliance of public interest lawyers and scientists working outside of government to protect the environment through law

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U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

the environmental law alliance worldwide elaw
The Environmental Law Alliance WorldwideELAW
  • Global alliance of public interest lawyers and scientists working outside of government to protect the environment through law
  • Giving local advocates the legal and scientific tools they need to challenge environmental abuses, defend biodiversity and build a sustainable future
  • Helping local advocates employ electronic communication tools in defense of the natural environment
  • Helping local advocates gain the skills and resources they need to build strong organizations and promote a sustainable future

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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ELAW U.S. Initiatives for the Environment

1. Provide critical scientific tools2. Provide critical legal tools3. Electronic “home” of the network4. Build strong organizations5. Host fellows and build skills6. Help communities speak out and enforce the law7. Defend the defenders

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

environmental law

Environmental Law

Domestic environmental laws

Administrative laws

Legal doctrines

International treaties

Policies governing

international financial

institutions

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

legal principles used to protect the environment

Legal Principles Used to Protect the Environment

Constitutional Right to Life

Precautionary Principle

Polluter Pays Principle

Public Trust Doctrine

Legal theories of nuisance or trespass

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

constitutional right to life
Constitutional Right to Life

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

constitutional right to life1
Constitutional Right to Life

“Basic needs of man have traditionally been accepted to the three - food, clothing and shelter.  The right to life is guaranteed in any civilized society. That would take within its sweep the right to food, the right to clothing, the right to decent environment and a reasonable accommodation to live in.”

Shantistar Builders vs Narayan Khimalal Totame, Civil Appeal No. 2598 of 1989, decided Jan. 31, 1990.  Supreme Court of India, at sec. 9.

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

chile trillium
Chile: Trillium

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

chile derecho subjetivo p blico y derecho colectivo p blico
Chile: derecho subjetivo público y derecho colectivo público

“Que, por último, respecto de la supuesta falta de legitimación activa de los recurrentes para interponer este recurso, alegada por los recurridos y la Empresa Forestal Trillium, cabe señalar que el derecho a vivir en un medio ambiente libre de contaminación es un derecho humano con rango constitucional, el que presenta un doble carácter: derecho subjetivo público y derecho colectivo público.”

Chile -- Trillium, No. 2.732-96. 19 Marzo 1997

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

precautionary principle

Precautionary Principle

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

precautionary principle1

Precautionary Principle

“By virtue of the precautionary principle . . . the import and planting of the transgenic organism known as a variety of Nucot 33B is ordered suspended, until such time that Monsanto Colombiana, Inc. has applied for, and obtained, the environmental license that is required to comply with Colombian law -- the purpose of which is no other than the protection of the environment, biological diversity, and human health.”

--Acción Popular suspende Importación de Algodón Transgénico

en Colombia, 2003-00181, 17 Oct. 2003

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

polluter pays principle

Polluter Pays Principle

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

polluter pays principle1

Polluter Pays Principle

The polluter pays principle "reflects the growing concern on the part of legislatures and of society about the safeguarding of the environment. That concern does not reflect only the collective desire to protect it in the interests of the people who live and work in it, and exploit its resources, today.  It may also be evidence of an emerging sense of inter‑generational solidarity and acknowledgement of an environmental debt to humanity and to the world of tomorrow."

--Imperial Oil Ltd. v. Quebec (Minister of the Environment), 2003 SCC 58, [2003]

2 S.C.R. 624, at para. 19

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

public trust doctrine

Public Trust Doctrine

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

public trust doctrine1

Public Trust Doctrine

"[I]n the absence of any legislation, the executive acting under the doctrine of public trust cannot abdicate the natural resources and convert them into private ownership, or for commercial use. The aesthetic use and the pristine glory of the natural resources, the environment and the ecosystems of our country cannot be permitted to be eroded for private, commercial or any other use unless the courts find it necessary, in good faith, for the public good and in public interest to encroach upon the said resources." 

--M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath, WP 182/1996 (1996.12.13) (para. 35)

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

nuisance and trespass

Nuisance and Trespass

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

trespass

Trespass

Landowners awarded damages under theory of trespass to compensate them for drinking water contamination where nitrates from animal manure leached through groundwater from a neighboring dairy operation.

--Concerned Area Residents for the Environment v. Southview Farm, 834 F. Supp. 1422, 1435 (W.D.N.Y. 1993)

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

environmental rights are human rights

Soviet-era steelworks plant emitted polluting substances 20-50 times higher than the maximum permissible limits.

Environmental Rights are Human Rights

Residents, including Nadezhda Fadeyeva, lived in government-owned apartment buildings located right next to the plant. They suffered from cancer, and blood and respiratory diseases.

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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Fadeyeva and other poor residents sought to re-locate away from the plant. Russian court agreed with her and ordered her placed on the waiting list to be relocated. She was on a “general waiting list” of 6,820 people who wanted to move. One person had been “waiting” since 1968!

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home, and his correspondence.

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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Lawyers used the Convention to link environmental rights to human rights and relied on expert testimony from ELAW U.S. scientists to make their case.

“I can hardly think of a more powerful case for the importance of ELAW. The case has the potential to fundamentally shift thinking in Europe on the connection between human rights and the environment.”

Phil Michaels, UK attorney & ELAW partner

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

access to information

Access to Information

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

access to information1

“[T]he Court has established that, according to the protection granted by the American Convention, the right to freedom of thought and expression includes “not only the right and freedom to express one’s own thoughts, but also the right and freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds.” In the same way as the American Convention, other international human rights instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, establish a positive right to seek and receive information.”

--Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Claude Reyes et al. v. Chile, Judgment of September 19, 2006 (para. 76, fn omitted)

Access to Information

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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“[T]he Court finds that, by expressly stipulating the right to ‘seek’ and ‘receive’ ‘information,’ Article 13 of the Convention protects the right of all individuals to request access to State-held information, with the exceptions permitted by the restrictions established in the Convention. Consequently, this article protects the right of the individual to receive such information and the positive obligation of the State to provide it . . . . The information should be provided without the need to prove direct interest or personal involvement in order to obtain it . . . . The delivery of information to an individual can, in turn, permit it to circulate in society, so that the latter can become acquainted with it, have access to it, and assess it. In this way, the right to freedom of thought and expression includes the protection of the right of access to State-held information, which also clearly includes the two dimensions, individual and social, of the right to freedom of thought and expression that must be guaranteed simultaneously by the State.”

--Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Claude Reyes et al. v. Chile, Judgment of September 19, 2006 (para. 77, fn omitted)

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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“When State-held information is refused, the State must guarantee that there is a simple, prompt and effective recourse that permits determining whether there has been a violation of the right of the person requesting information and, if applicable, that the corresponding body is ordered to disclose the information. In this context, the recourse must be simple and prompt, bearing in mind that, in this regard, promptness in the disclosure of the information is essential. According to the provisions of Articles 2 and 25(2)(b) of the Convention, if the State Party to the Convention does not have a judicial recourse to protect the right effectively, it must establish one. ”

--Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Claude Reyes et al. v. Chile, Judgment of September 19, 2006 (para. 137)

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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Mexico: Watershed Management Law

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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From: "idea" <idea@cybercable.net.mx>Querida Jen:Mucho me interesar el conocer la legislación en materia de aguas de los amigos de latinoamérica, y los del Norte, asi como la de España, sobre todo aquellas que contengan disposiciones relativas al manejo de cuencas hidrológicas. Lo anterior, en virtud de que estoy realizando una consultoria respecto a revisar la ley de aguas nacionales de México. Qué paso con el esfuerzo que estaban haciendo los amigos de panamá respecto a una Ley de manejo de Cuencas?De antemanos por la ayuda muchas gracias. RaquelInstituto de Derecho Ambiental, A.C.

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA

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ELAW

www.elaw.org

U.S. Office:

1877 Garden Avenue

Eugene, Oregon 97403 USA