Available in Russian
Authors: Alexander Solntsev, Anastasia Otrashevskaya
Keywords: advisory opinion of a court; Inter-American Court of Human Rights; international environmental law; protection of human rights
The current practice of international courts testifies to the close correlation of human rights and environmental protection. The “greening” of human rights contributes to improving the health and well-being of people around the world and the prevention of possible global negative consequences. This study analyzes existing international laws and the developing judicial practice regarding the defense of ecological rights and the interaction of separate categories of human rights including the rights to life, food, water, and a favorable environment. In the framework of this study, we will examine how this process takes place in the inter-American system for the protection of human rights, paying special attention to Advisory Opinion OC-23/17 issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on November 15, 2017 (published on February 8, 2018). The revolutionary approach of the Court’s opinion has stimulated an active discussion in the international community. This Advisory Opinion recognized the right to a healthy environment as an autonomous right, one not directly formulated by the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969 (Pact of San Jose) or the San Salvador Protocol but “derived” from the interpretation of other established rights. The legitimacy and validity of the Court’s legal position remained in question for several years. However, in 2020 in its decision “Indigenous Communities of the Lhaka Honhat Association v. Argentina”, the arguments of the Advisory Opinion under consideration were repeatedly cited and the decision was supported by the Chairman of the Court (on an equal vote 3 “for” and 3 “against”). The article also pays special attention to the genesis of the protection of environmental human rights within this region by the San Salvador Protocol of 1988 and the Escazu Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Environmental Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean of 2018.
About the authors: Alexander Solntsev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Deputy Head of the Department of International Law in Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia; Anastasia Otrashevskaya – Ph.D. Student of the Department of International Law in Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia.
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