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Resources, Rights, and Environmental Regulation

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Prior to the Human Rights Act 1998, there were significant expectations that it would promote the development of environmental rights and extend remedies for environmental harm. This has not been the case, but then the expectations were probably always false. The paper points to three reasons why: the retention of a strong model of parliamentary sovereignty; the need to mould human rights principles alongside the common law; the traditional reluctance of the courts to determine questions of utility where questions of resource allocation arise. The paper concludes by reflecting on whether one would hope, in any case, to advance the cause of the environment through the mechanism of the Convention and suggests that there may be reasons to doubt the wisdom of this approach.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: ESRC BRASS Centre, Cardiff University, 54 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3AT, Wales

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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