Any Public Spirited person can start social action in a court of law to protect environment degradation

Any Public Spirited person can start social action in a court of law to protect environment degradation. Illustrate &explain


Every spiritual person who has consciousness for his/her environment can file case against Environment Degradation. Spiritual person means those people who have love and personal sense on keeping the environment safe, clean and eco friendly. Citizen suits is a concept which is primarily prevalent in the United States where a private citizen can bring a lawsuit against a citizen, corporation, or government body for engaging in conduct prohibited by the statute, or against a government body for failing to perform a non-discretionary duty. Citizen suits are an important part of an environmentally sustainable legal system because they provide access to justice for persons injured by violations of environmental laws. These shows the most powerful country in the world also has given people rights to case against things according to law. So from this we can say that every spiritual person has right to fight against environment problem. Different country got different system in constitution about Environment law and Human rights. But mostly agree people got rights to raise their voice against any unexpected activities on environment policy. The notion that environmental degradation can lead to violations of human rights, first broached nearly 40 years ago, has grown apace in the last two decades. A human right to a safe or healthy environment has appeared not only in scholarly articles and several books, but increasingly in treaties and multilateral environmental agreements and in national constitutions. “Rights” are of limited value if they cannot be enforced by courts or other independent and impartial bodies. That is why development of case law in this field is so important, as well as citizen enforcement in domestic courts and individual complaints in international human rights courts and compliance mechanisms. The jurisprudence of human rights courts, commissions, and committees, as well as that of domestic courts in some countries, has endorsed and expanded environmental rights in various ways. Lawyers have worked to fuse environmental concerns with protection of fundamental rights — rights to life, health, property, private and family life, freedom of expression, petition, self-determination, and culture.

Environment law

Pure water has been an issue in many antique societies and therefore one can admittedly argue that the first legal rules on environmental issues are pretty old – they are clearly originating from Roman law rules and were also applied in the Middle Ages in Europe. While it is possible to identify early legal structures that would today fall into the “environmental” law metric – for example the common law recognition of private and public rights to protect interests in land, such as nuisance, or post-industrial revolution human health protections – the concept of “environmental law” as a separate and distinct body of law is a 20th Century development. The recognition that the natural environment was fragile and in need of special legal protections, the translation of that recognition into legal structures, and the development of those structures into a larger body of “environmental law” did not occur until about the 1960s. At that time, numerous influences – including a growing awareness of the unity and fragility of the biosphere following mankind’s first steps into outer space ( for example, the Blue Marble), increased public concern over the impact of industrial activity on natural resources and human health (for example, the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire), the increasing strength of the regulatory state, and more broadly the advent and success of environmentalism as a political movement – coalesced to produce a huge new body of law in a relatively short period of time. While the modern history of environmental law is one of continuing controversy, by the end of the 20th Century, environmental law had been established as a component of the legal landscape in all developed nations of the world, many developing ones, and the larger project of international law.

International environmental law

Pollution, scarce resources, wild animals and plants do not respect political boundaries, making international law an important aspect of environmental law. Numerous legally binding international agreements now encompass a wide variety of issue-areas, from terrestrial, marine and atmospheric pollution through to wildlife and biodiversity protection. While the bodies that proposed, argued, agreed upon and ultimately adopted existing international agreements vary according to each agreement, certain conferences, including 1972’s United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. International environmental law also includes the opinions of international courts and tribunals. While there are few and they have limited authority, the decisions carry much weight with legal commentators and are quite influential on the development of international environmental law. One of the biggest challenges in international decisions is to determine an adequate compensation for environmental damages.

Spiritual Movement

Thus far many environmental groups have tried to argue their case on purely objective terms, to the detriment of their cause. Trying to persuade people to bolster biodiversity on the grounds of economic necessity is a hard argument to win when the forces working against biodiversity (such as the forestry industry) have very strong economic arguments regarding families, jobs and rural communities. As long as environmentalists continue to fight economists in purely economic terms, they are destined to lose. Thus there is a need to re-inject something of a religious faith into environmental debate and have it accepted into the debate on those terms. Biodiversity is worth fighting for not because of its economic value, but because it is the right thing to do! Without this the environmental movement is left open to incremental degradation. The victories of today swiftly become loses of tomorrow unless there is some sustaining influence. Also without an environmental ethic present in our day to day activities we find that our impact grows incrementally. Spirituality gives people the strength to sustain their action throughout their lives.[1] During whaling’s heyday there was a race to establish colonies in the extreme North of the Arctic Circle in order to maximize the amount of time spent processing whales. These colonies sometimes did not survive the colder winter months. The colonies that regularly survived frequently seemed to come from countries which had a very strong religious background. This correlation has suggested that an inner strength is needed to sustain people during times of duress. Many long term environmental activists have a similar kind of spiritual basis that keeps them in touch with the causes they fight for. While this does sustain them in their struggles it will also loan a subjective bent to their arguments. Thus spirituality needs to be introduced and legitimized in the eyes of environmental debaters on both sides.

Ø Division and Unification

The advantage of having a sacred aspect to environmental debate will be a (hopefully) unifying effect on the political left. Often a group will be so focused on their specific point of interest it will be argued to the detriment of all others. An example of this clouding of issues can be seen in the activities of the Socialist Alternative political group. Having been to a couple of meetings on campus, I have noticed a trend in the organization to push the issue of class division. Every issue that the group discusses seems to turn around to the prospect of class warfare and a separation of the working and the capitalist classes.

Ø Spiritual Problem

Environmental pollution is a spiritual problem, and it demands a spiritual solution. The greatest barrier to an ecologically balanced environment is a materialistic world-view that defines the individual as a biochemical machine operating in a godless, soul-less universe. Unfortunately, this widespread theory forms the basis of most modern scientific thought. It is known as “reductionism”. Reductionism has given rise to a civilization driven to exploit the earth`s resources and creatures without restriction.

Ø Rights of Human on Environment Problem

In the three decades since the Stockholm Conference, the links that were established by these First declaratory statements have been reformulated and elaborated in various ways in international legal instruments and the decisions of human rights bodies. In large part, these instruments and decisions involve taking a rights-based approach to the topics, albeit with different emphases, the first approach, perhaps closest to that of the Stockholm Declaration, understand environmental protection as a pre-condition to the enjoyment of internationally guaranteed human rights, especially the rights to life and health. The second rights-based approach, most common in international environmental agreements since 1992, is also instrumental but instead of viewing environmental protection as an essential element of human rights, it views certain human rights as essential elements to achieving environmental protection, which has as a principal aim the protection of human health. This approach is well-illustrated by the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted at the conclusion of the 1992 Conference of Rio de Janeiro on Environment and Development.

Most human rights treaties were drafted and adopted before environmental protection became a matter of international concern. As a result, there are few references to environmental matters in international human rights instruments, although the rights to life and to health are certainly included and some formulations of the latter right make reference to environmental issues.

Movement Evidence

1. Most of the large cases of disorder seen in China over the last five years have been sparked by pollution issues. Liu Jianqiang asks why environmental protection has failed-

China’s urban residents (or the new “middle class”) protest on the streets only very rarely. Discontent is expressed almost exclusively online, via angry typing. But this has changed over the last five years – protests have come offline and onto the streets.

2012 saw popular protests in Ningbo, Shifang and Qidong. There have been widespread demonstrations over the last five years: against a PX plant in Dalian; against waste incinerators almost everywhere; against another PX plant in Xiamen, in the form of a mass “stroll”; against high speed rail in Shanghai, in the form of a mass “shop”; against the Liulitun incinerator in Beijing, when locals picketed the State Environmental Protection Agency.

Chinese citizens are taking to the streets again and again, with a new protest arising as soon as the last is resolved.

And the protests have escalated, prior to 2012, both officials and the public showed restraint. But in 2012 the people clashed frequently with the government and the police, creating social disorder.

According to Yang Zhaofei, vice-chair of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, the number of environmental protests has increased by an average of 29% every year since 1996, while in 2011 the number of major environmental incidents rose 120%

v Daring to protest

The harm and fear caused by pollution are the main factors driving unrest in Chinese cities. But the Chinese people have plenty to be angry about: corruption; the rich-poor gap; and more. So why is it only environmental issues which bring them to the street.

There are three reasons: first, pollution is already intolerable, and is a threat to life and health. A vastly richer factory owner living nearby can be accepted, but nobody could tolerate his factory making their children sick.[2]

Environmental rights are apolitical: protesting does not challenge the authority of the current system. Protestors need not fear being accused of opposing the government.

Third, environmental issues have a wider impact than illegal land seizures and labor disputes. A large chemical plant could have an impact on one million people. When tens or hundreds of thousands are in agreement there is safety in numbers.

v Lack of Progress

China’s environmental authorities are weak, but environmental matters have a huge impact on health and social equality, and now also the chances of unrest. [3]An environmental problem can throw a city into chaos and unsettle the nation. There may even be a possibility of more serious outcomes. China’s new leaders should take a broader view of environmental issues and their environmental authorities.

2. Right to use loudspeakers and the reasonable restrictions for abating sound pollution.

A. Jacob v. The Superintendent of Police, Kotta Yani AIR 1993 Ker. 1

Here, claiming a fundamental right to use a loud speaker at public meetings to voice his views, petitioner sought to restrain respondents from interfering with the use of a loud speaker by him.

The main issue for contention was whether the Constitution guarantees a right to use a sound amplifying device or whether use of such a device is part of the right to freedom of speech guaranteed under Art. 19 (1)(a).

Prevent of Environment Degradation

If every spiritual person can take action against environment degradation by making judicial conscious about the way problem can be solved and in which area law should take action then it can be helpful for both Human and environment and try to keep environment safe in other way then Law will go for them.

They are:

· Stop using spray products with CFC’s

· Stop burning wastes especially non-biodegradable.

· Protest against big industries producing too much carbon into the atmosphere.

· Support our leaders in their struggle to implement rules regarding the protection of our environment.

· As individuals, the only thing we can help prevent environmental problems is to keep our environment clean. Get your hands dirty, pick up dirt.


Human Rights relating to the environment are set out in basic human rights treaties and include: The human right to a safe and healthy environment. Any Public Spirited person can start social action in a court of law to protect environment degradation because they have extra consciousness towards environment what normally most humans don’t have. Those people helping us indirectly by protecting our environment by which we are living. So every constitution should give them extra power to take action against those who are damaging our environment.


1. Anderson, R.C., and A. Carlin, 1997. ‘The United States Experience with Economic Incentives in Environmental Pollution Control Policy’, Environmental Law Institute, Washington D.C.

2. Avicedo, Mariana T., the Intersection of Human Rights and Environmental Protection in the European Court of Human Rights, 8 N.Y.U. Envtl. L.J. 437 (2000)

3. Dernbach John, C., “Citizen Suits and Sustainability”, 10 Widener Law Review, 503 (2004)

4. Legal Principles for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, adopted by the Experts Groups on Environmental Law of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 18-20 June 1986, U.N. Doc .WCED/86/23/Add. 1 (1986), Art. 1.

5. R. Lazarus, The Making of Environmental Law (Cambridge Press 2004); P. Gates,History of Public Land Law Development

6. D. Estrin, The Clean Water Act – A Bit of Legislative History.