This Handbook is intended to enable national judges in all types of tribunals in both civil law and common law jurisdictions to identify environmental issues coming before them and to be aware of the range of options available to them in interpreting and applying the law.
The book appears in the context of a global realization that the protection of the environment has rapidly risen in importance to become one of the foremost concerns of the world community. Environmental deterioration through human activity is proceeding at an unprecedented rate, and unless this process is held in check the damage caused will be grave and irreversible, hurting not only ourselves but future generations, and not only the nation where it occurs but the global population in general.
Such is the background against which the United Nations Environment Programme decided to undertake the production of a handbook for the judges of the world, and to make easily available to them a compendium of relevant information which would be of ready assistance to them in this comparatively unfamiliar judicial territory.
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