Books  Sustainable Development  Environmental Law 

Global Environmental Constitutionalism: Implications for Present and Future Generations

  • Offers in-depth and current analysis of constitutional provisions that advance environmental protection, with emphasis on receptivity in courts throughout the world
  • Analyzes emerging areas, including rights to water, procedural rights, rights of nature, sustainability, public trust and climate change
  • Features a comprehensive appendices of relevant constitutional text

By: James R May(Author), Erin Daly(Author)

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jan 2015 | #217739 | ISBN-13: 9781107022256
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £66.99 $86/€73 approx

About this book

Reflecting a global trend, scores of countries have affirmed that their citizens are entitled to healthy air, water and land, and that their constitution should guarantee certain environmental rights. Global Environmental Constitutionalism examines the increasing recognition that the environment is a proper subject for protection in constitutional texts and for vindication by constitutional courts. This phenomenon, which the authors call environmental constitutionalism, represents the confluence of constitutional law, international law, human rights and environmental law. National apex and constitutional courts are exhibiting a growing interest in environmental rights, and as courts become more aware of what their peers are doing, this momentum is likely to increase. Global Environmental Constitutionalism explains why such provisions came into being, how they are expressed, and the extent to which they have been, and might be, enforced judicially. It is a singular resource for evaluating the content of and hope for constitutional environmental rights.

Advance praise:

"In their new book, May and Daly rigorously and comprehensively analyze one of the most remarkable developments in constitutional and environmental law in the past fifty years: the explosion of constitutional environmental rights. They clarify every aspect of this sea change in the law and provide an indispensable resource for anyone interested in constitutional law or environmental law."
- John H. Knox, UN independent expert on human rights and the environment, and Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

"May and Daly provide a sophisticated survey of the jurisprudence of third-generation constitutional rights in the environment. Their discussions of the conceptual foundations of such rights and of the issues of standing, procedure, remedies, and enforcement (and much more) will be of great interest to students of comparative constitutional law as third-generation rights become an important part of domestic constitutional law worldwide."
- Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"James May and Erin Daly provide a superb global tour d'horizon of environmental constitutional rights. Their comparative legal analysis is insightful and makes clear the congruent emergence of a rights-based environmental constitutionalism across most regions of the earth. Their research is an essential complement to studies of both national and international environmental laws, which are incomplete until read together with this innovative book."
- Nicholas A. Robinson, Kerlin Professor Emeritus of Environmental Law, Pace University School of Law

"The constitutionalization of environmental norms witnessed in the last two decades represents a significant but not very well-understood trend. This important new book by May and Daly offers an impressive and considered yet critical examination of the usefulness of constitutional environmental provisions. It ought to be essential reading for anyone with an interest in environmental rights."
- Ole W. Pedersen, Senior Instructor, Newcastle Law School


1. The nature of environmental constitutionalism
2. Textual environmental constitutionalism
3. Juridical outcomes in environmental constitutionalism
4. Litigating constitutional environmental rights
5. Remedies
6. Constitutional rights to water
7. Subnational environmental constitutionalism
8. Procedural environmental rights
9. Emerging environmental constitutionalism
10. Conclusion

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Jim May is a Professor of Law, codirector of the Environmental Law Center, and Adjunct Professor of Graduate Engineering at Widener University. He is the editor and a contributing author of Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law and has written or cowritten more than seventy articles and book chapters relating to environmental and constitutional law. He is a former federal litigator, NGO director and engineer.

Erin Daly is vice dean and Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law. She has written extensively on comparative constitutional law and transitional justice issues throughout the world. She has recently published Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the Human Person (2012). She is coauthor, with Jeremy Sarkin, of Reconciliation in Divided Societies: Finding Common Ground (2010)

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