Stockholm Conference on Environmental
Law and Justice,  6-9 September 2006

Stephen Stec (Szentendre):
Environmental Justice through Courts in Countries in Economic Transition  

In countries in transition, environmental justice not only presents situations where the environmental and social impacts of development and other policies are disproportionately borne by certain members of society, whether they be minorities, women and children, or the poor. It also often involves the "policy-less" actions of those in power who increase their wealth or status at the expense of others. The state of societies in transition, their inherent flux, especially with respect to application of the rule of law, and in some cases the rapid reorganization of societies (such as in Kosovo) moreover raise questions as to whether standard notions of environmental justice should be modified for application there. Environmental issues in countries in transition have often performed functions of helping to define the relationship between those in power and the governed, and developing respect for the law and overall notions of justice and equity. The paper will examine some recent cases from Ukraine, Romania, and Kosovo (UNMIK) where those aggrieved by actions detrimental to the environment used legal means to seek to enforce their rights or defend the environment. The cases present opportunities to compare and contrast vastly different pictures of the ability to make use of such rights and of the responsiveness of state and judiciary institutions to issues raised under the rubric of environmental justice, whether express or implied




 Ansvarig utgivare är SMC | Copyright 2006