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Constitutional Environmental Human Rights in India: Negating a Negating Statement


  • Christopher Jeffords

    (University of Connecticut)


Based on the December 2011 version of the Constitution of India, this article examines 3 potential ways to “interpret” the legal strength of a broadly defined national constitutional environmental human right. Using text from Articles 43, 47, 48A, and 51A, and paying special attention to the negating statement preceding these articles, the 3 ways are summarized as follows: (1) having or not a constitutional environmental human right; (2) interpreting the constitutional environmental human right as enforceable law or directive principles; and (3) linking the language of the constitutional environmental human right to the underlying definition of an environmental human right. The article notes that although India’s constitution contains a constitutional environmental human right that is best described as a directive principle, its language does not correspond highly with that of current definitions of environmental human rights. Furthermore, its legal strength is severely limited by the presence of the negating statement which, at the very least, would need to be repealed or negated to give life to constitutional environmental human rights in India.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Jeffords, 2012. "Constitutional Environmental Human Rights in India: Negating a Negating Statement," Economic Rights Working Papers 21, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:ecriwp:21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susan Randolph & Sakiko Fukuda-Parr & Terra Lawson-Remer, 2009. "Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment Index: Country Scores and Rankings," Working papers 2009-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Christopher Jeffords & Farhed Shah, 2011. "On the Natural and Economic Difficulties to Fulfilling the Human Right to Water," Economic Rights Working Papers 17, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
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    More about this item


    Constitutional Environmental Human Rights; Directive Principles; Enforceable Law;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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