III. THE JUS COGENS NATURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS Irrespective of specific treaty obligations and domestic environmental legislation, do States, or the international community as a whole, have a duty to take measures to safeguard and prevent against environmental hazards?

Human rights are “claims of entitlement” that arise “as of right” and are independent of external justification; they are “self evident” and fundamental to any human being living a dignified, productive and healthy and rewarding life. As Louis Henkin points out:

The Human Right to a Healthy Environment is explicitly contained in the African and inter-american Charters, as well as in the constitution of over 50 countries worldwide. In a separate decision, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission upheld the right of the Yanomani in Brazil to a clean and healthy environment.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the major covenants and conventions., dignity, and fulfillment, and that reflect a common sense of decency, fairness, and justice.
Henkin distinguishes between “immunity claims” (such as ‘the State can not do X to me’; the hallmark of the U.S. constitutional jurisprudential system) and “resource claims” (such as ‘I have a right to Y’) such that the individual has the right to, for example, free speech, “food, housing, and other basic human needs.” In today’s “global village”, the Right to a Healthy Environment is clearly a “resource claim” and a basic human need that transcends national boundaries.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the major covenants and conventions. His position is that the Human Right to Life is a. jus cogens, non-derogable peremptory norm that by its very nature includes the right to a clean environment. It forms the basis of NAFTA’s, the WTO’s and the European Union’s economic development agreements, and the European Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which has been ratified by most countries in the world, including the United States.

The Human Right to a Healthy Environment is explicitly contained in the African and inter-american Charters, as well as in the constitution of over 50 countries worldwide. Whether it is based on treaties, CIL, or “basic principles”, the obligation of the international community to the environment is today clearly spelled out and enforceable through international tribunals. In a separate decision, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission upheld the right of the Yanomani in Brazil to a clean and healthy environment.

His position is that the Human Right to Life is a. jus cogens, non-derogable peremptory norm that by its very nature includes the right to a clean environment. It forms the basis of NAFTA’s, the WTO’s and the European Union’s economic development agreements, and the European Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which has been ratified by most countries in the world, including the United States.

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