European Convention on Human Rights

"Protection of the natural environment has to be regarded as a fundamental human right. One of the objectives I have set myself during my term of office is the integration of the right to a healthy environment into the European Convention on Human Rights, through an additional protocol."

Mr. Lluís Maria de Puig, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on 28 March 2008

As you will be able to research under "For lawyers to use", there have been several attempts by PACE over the last decade to have a healthy environment added to the European Convention on Human Rights.

But the Committee of Ministers (Ministers of Foreign Affairs) have refused to do so every time PACE made such a recommendation. Although the European Court has constructed a way to deal with the most gross environmental violations, mainly under Article 8 (private and family life) of the Convention, the criteria developed by the Court are too stringent to deal with other environmental issues but the most severe ones.

The time has come for the Committee of Ministers to accept, acknowledge and allow to codify such a Right to (a clean and healthy) Environment under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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