Tuesday 2 July 2013

Article on Margin of Appreciation and Environmental Law

The newest issue of Global Constitutionalism (Vol. 2, Issue 2, July 2013) includes an article on the margin of appreciation and environmental law. The article, by Chris Hilson of the University of Reading, is entitled 'The margin of appreciation, domestic irregularity and domestic court rulings in ECHR environmental jurisprudence: Global legal pluralism in action'. This is the abstract:
Global legal pluralism is concerned, inter alia, with the growing multiplicity of normative legal orders and the ways in which these different orders intersect and are accommodated with one another. The different means used for accommodation will have a critical bearing on how individuals fare within them. This article examines the recent environmental jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights to explore some of the means of reaching an accommodation between national legal orders and the European Convention. Certain types of accommodation – such as the margin of appreciation given to states by the Court – are well known. In essence, such mechanisms of legal pluralism raise a presumptive barrier which generally works for the state and against the individual rights-bearer. However, the principal focus of the current article is on a less well-known, recent set of pluralistic devices employed by the Court, which typically operate presumptively in the other direction, in favour of the individual. First, the Court looks to instances of breaches of domestic environmental law (albeit not in isolation); and second, it places an emphasis on whether domestic courts have ruled against the relevant activity. Where domestic standards have been breached or national courts have ruled against the state, then, presumptive weight is typically shifted towards the individual.