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Series:

Mofihli Teleki

Abstract

The means for implementing the Declaration on the Right to Development (drd) are advanced by some scholars, citing the conflicts between universalism and cultural relativism constraints. In this chapter, I propose that there could be an arbiter between these two frames of thought. The proposed arbiter in this instance is an African philosophy called “Ubuntu”. Although Ubuntu is an ethic and philosophy, it has been used in various settings in the post-independent era of the African continent. Ubuntu has been used as a source of law in countries such as South Africa. In this chapter, I argue that Ubuntu should be institutionalized in order for it to become an arbiter between universalism and cultural relativism.

Lorenzo Squintani

Ludwig Krämer

This paper discusses, if and how the challenges of climate change could be brought in a case before the Court of Justice of the European Union. It concentrates on the admissibility of such a case and finds in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights the lever to overcome the obstacles which Article 263 tfeu places in front of members of the civil society. It discusses successively the questions of the Union act which might be tackled, the questions whether individual persons are directly and whether they are individually concerned by climate change decisions; and it ends with a short concluding remark.

Kleoniki Pouikli

Noise constitutes an unwanted by-product of the use of transport infrastructure and various other social and economic activities, especially in dense urbanized territories, affecting citizens’ health, sleep regime, social behavior and psychological comfort as well as the environment. The Directive 2002/49/ec on the assessment and management of environmental noise (end) sets the legislative background for the prevention of environmental noise and the reduction of its harmful effects on humans putting Member States (ms) in the driving-seat when shaping and implementing noise rules. However, although it was the first comprehensive effort aspiring to carve out a coherent eu-wide noise policy, its fragmented and problematic implementation raises crucial questions about its effectiveness. To this end, except from the end enforcement at national level, emphasis will be given to the noise protective regime emerging from echr and the ECtHR case law as well as to the most recent developments in the field, such as the “smart city” mechanisms for improving acoustic well-being in urban living spaces and the Dutch concept of “environmental distribution policy”.

Julien Bétaille

The advent of Rights of Nature (RoN) marks a new paradigm shift in the philosophical approach to nature. As such, the concept has generated enthusiasm amongst environmentalists and legal scholars. This is not surprising since granting legal personhood to nature seems to present itself as a relative easy fix for the multitude of deficiencies of “modern” environmental law. However, when critically assessed, many of the underlying assumptions justifying a shift towards rights-based approaches to nature are open to challenge. In this paper, which takes a more critical stance on the topic of RoN, it is submitted that also the much-criticized modern environmental law is moving towards a recognition of the intrinsic value of nature, puts breaks on property rights, offers remediation actions for pure ecological damage and also increasingly grants environmental ngos wide access to courts. Moreover, on a second level, it is argued that RoN are not a legal revolution and that many of the problems Rights of Nature tries to cure – such as a lack of enforcement – will simply re-emerge if not adequately assessed within this novel paradigm.

Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility

Another Road to China's Sustainable Development

Series:

Mengxing Lu

Corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR/CER) can be understood as practices which voluntarily extend beyond mere compliance with mandatory social and environmental standards. Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development, by Mengxing Lu, contributes to the current debate of CSR/CER by providing a legal and economic analysis of CSR/CER and its relationship with regulation. Although the development of CSR/CER is at an early juncture in China, it is nevertheless a prominent topic for Chinese policy makers and business leaders alike. By depicting the landscape of CSR/CER in China, Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development successfully demonstrates the vast potential for CSR/CER’s contribution to China’s sustainable development.

Series:

Piotr Szwedo

Cross-border Water Trade: Legal and Interdisciplinary Perspectives is a critical assessment of one of the growing problems faced by the international community — the global water deficit. Cross-border water trade is a solution that generates ethical and economic but also legal challenges. Economic, humanitarian and environmental approaches each highlight different and sometimes conflicting aspects of the international commercialization of water. Finding an equilibrium for all the dimensions required an interdisciplinary path incorporating certain perspectives of natural law. The significance of such theoretical underpinnings is not merely academic but also quite practical, with concrete consequences for the legal status of water and its fitness for international trade.

Series:

Edited by Gudmundur Alfredsson and Timo Koivurova

The Yearbook of Polar Law is based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland and covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge,
- local, national, regional and international governance issues,
- environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species,
- regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources,
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims,
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea,
- peace and security, dispute settlement,
- jurisdictional and other issues with regard to the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bio prospecting,
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law, and
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar Regions, such as the Arctic Council, the Antarctic Treaty System, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, as well as NGOs.

The papers in this volume are based on presentations at the ninth symposium in Akureyri in October 2016.