The Legitimate Role(s) of Human Rights Courts in Environmental Disputes

An international symposium will bring together scholars and human rights judges to discuss how environmental concerns can legitimately be addressed by human rights courts.

Black coal emissions. Source: Colourbox.

Recently, an increasing number of cases concerning environmental issues are being heard before international human rights courts and tribunals.  Matters concern the effects of environmental degradation and pollution, climate change, indigenous peoples environmental  rights, an independent right to a healthy environment – just to name a few. This phenomenon raises the question whether human rights courts are the right venue for such cases.

The symposium will inquire the following questions in the context of legitimacy of human rights courts and tribunals when hearing “environmental cases” in the context of human rights protection.

  • Do environmental cases require a special expertise and, if so, do human rights courts/judges have such expertise?
  • Are rules on jurisdiction, procedures, evidence etc. adequate when confronted with the complexities of environmental issues?
  • What is the role of environmental law before human rights courts and tribunals?
  • Are human rights courts effective “instruments” for environmental protection?
  • Are human rights courts more suitable for protection of some environmental problems than other, for example local rather than global challenges?
  • What are the legitimate roles, functions and effects of human rights courts in cases concerning environmental issues?


Confirmed speakers



Tags: Environment, Human Rights, Legitimacy
Published Mar. 6, 2014 3:12 PM - Last modified Aug. 5, 2021 10:19 AM