Constitutional Directions in Procedural Environmental Rights
May, James R.
Nearly three-quarters of the nations on the planet have chosen to adopt constitutions with environmental provisions that aim to advance an end. These provisions take various forms. Some confer a substantive right to a quality environment or impose a duty to protect it. Some impose duties on governmental decisions affecting the environment, such as sustainability or the public trust. Still other saddress specific concerns, such as water rights or climate change. The constitutions of some countries reflect several varieties of these provisions. Some constitutional provisions, however, focus more on the means of making decisions in environmental matters than on the ends to be achieved. Over the last two decades, nearly three-dozen countries have chosen to have their constitutions embed procedural rights in environmental matters. This article concludes that these provisions have untapped potential for advancing environmental protection worldwide.