Diagonal environmental rights

Environmental rights are diagonal if they are held by individuals or groups against the governments of states other than their own. The potential importance of such rights is obvious: governments' actions often affect the environment beyond their jurisdiction, and those who live in and rely upon the environment affected would like to be able to exercise rights against the governments causing them harm. Although international law has not adopted a comprehensive, uniform approach to such rights, human rights law and international environmental law have begun to develop some possible bases for diagonal environmental rights. Human rights law operates primarily along a vertical axis, setting out individuals' rights against their governments and the corresponding duties owed by the governments, but it may also be diagonal, giving rise to duties on the part of states that extend beyond their own territory. The scope and extent of diagonal human rights are often controversial, and environmental rights face additional difficulties, because the environmental protection required by human rights is clarifying only gradually, on a case-by-case basis. To the extent that human rights require such protection when aligned vertically, it would be logical to conclude that they require the same degree of protection whenever they may be aligned diagonally. Human rights law provides few precedents to support that conclusion, however. Compared to human rights law, international environmental law (IEL) provides a clearer and more specific set of duties with respect to environmental protection. Moreover, most IEL is extraterritorial, in that it requires states to regulate actions within their control that could harm the environment beyond their territory. The problem with grounding diagonal environmental rights in IEL is that, in contrast to human rights law, most IEL operates along a horizontal axis: its duties are owed by states to other states, not to private actors. If the challenge for human rights law is to extend rights from the vertical axis to the diagonal, the challenge for IEL is to derive diagonal rights from horizontal ones.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

39 ( #123,764 of 1,925,076 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,993 of 1,925,076 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.