By Tim Hayward
May still the elemental correct to an sufficient setting be supplied within the structure of any glossy democratic nation? Drawing on precedents from all over the world, this publication presents the 1st politically-focused research of this pivotal factor. Hayward compellingly demonstrates how the ideal is either important and powerful, conducive to democracy, and serves the reason for foreign environmental justice.
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Additional info for Constitutional environmental rights
I shall not claim that the approach defended here represents a comprehensive solution, but I shall show why there is reason to think it is part of a solution; I shall also point up problems in the radical environmentalist critique itself. To begin with, though, I shall briefly explain the reasons for focusing on the formulation of the right as that of every human to an environment adequate for their health and wellbeing. I shall also indicate what intermediate objectives, suitable for constitutional implementation, it can be expected to aim at under interpretations that can reasonably be expected to apply.
This point can be elaborated without recourse to a legal positivist understanding of human rights. The language of human rights, even when applied in a moral rather than a legal context, refers to a distinctive ethical form. The truth which legal positivism highlights, albeit mistaking it for the whole of the truth rather than just a part of it, is that the very concept of a right is of legal origin: as was shown above the rights form has an internal logic and a sociohistorical genesis that cannot simply be disregarded if its deployment in ethical reasoning is to be fully intelligible.
In what follows I ask first if a right to an adequate environment can be conceived as a universal moral right (which is the starting point of the process), and then survey some of the available evidence relevant to the question of whether it is in the process of firming up as a real norm of positive law. 3 A universal moral right to an adequate environment This section makes and defends the claim that a right to an adequate environment genuinely is, if any rights are, a universal moral right—that is, a moral right that can and should be universally institutionalized.