The Subjective Right to Environment in the General Part of the Environmental Code Act

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Series Details Pp. 63-70
Publication Date 2016
ISBN 9789985870358
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Human existence and quality of life depend on the environment. It is evident that everyone has an interest in using the environment and protecting him- or herself from risks or harm to the environment. However, it is not clear how this interest has to be guaranteed by rights. One possibility is the recognition of an independent material enforceable subjective right to environment. In June 2010, the Supreme Court held that such a right cannot be derived from the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and can emerge only if criteria for the quality of the environment and everyone’s obligation to tolerate environmental impacts can be fixed in the law. The General Part of the Environmental Code Act (GPECA)*1 entered into force on 1 August 2014, and its §23 sets out a subjective right to environment. The purpose behind this paper is to examine the basis for that right and analyse its scope and contents to determine whether it satisfies the criteria outlined by
the Supreme Court.

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