The African Human Rights System (AHRS) unequivocally recognises human right to an environment of a particular quality in Article 24 of the African Charter; and there have been a growing number of decisions declaring states responsible for abuse of this right. This evolving jurisprudence has resonance not just within the African continent but is also of relevance to the wider debate on the recognition of human rights to environment at international law. This paper will explore the insights and contributions that the AHS (especially the decisions) makes to the achieving environmental rights, particularly within the context of access to justice, and the practical relevance of the decisions for victims in the region. Particular attention will be paid to the December 2012 decision of the ECOWAS Court in SERAP v Federal Republic of Nigeria and others which did away with the traditional barrier of lack of legal standing to sue. The paper will argue that while the robust approach of the AHRS has benefits for environmental victims, it does not fully address the practical challenges to access to justice. There is therefore need to expand the scope of the AHRS to include procedural rights along the lines of the UNECE Aarhus Convention and its implementation in the EU and member States. This analysis will draw upon the Aarhus Convention, the relevant EU Directives implementing it, and a 2013 decision of the EU Court against the UK on its implementation of access to justice provisions.
|Publication status||Published - 05 Sept 2014|
|Event||3rd UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy: Human Rights, Environmental Sustainability, Post-2015 Development, and the Future Climate Regime, - University of Yale, New Haven, United States of America|
Duration: 05 Sept 2014 → 07 Sept 2014
|Conference||3rd UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy: Human Rights, Environmental Sustainability, Post-2015 Development, and the Future Climate Regime,|
|Country/Territory||United States of America|
|Period||05 Sept 2014 → 07 Sept 2014|