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Recent developments in public interest litigation

 Inter-American court condemns Argentina over indigenous rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has condemned the Argentine state for violating the right of indigenous communities to their cultural identity, a healthy environment and adequate food and water, that tribunal reported on Thursday. The court, based in the Costa Rican capital of San José, ordered specific action for the restitution of those rights, […]

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East African Court Bars South Sudan, Two Firms From Exporting Oil

The government of South Sudan and two mining companies have been barred from operating and exporting oil due to spills that have polluted the environment. South Sudan’s Minister for Justice, the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) and Dar Petroleum Operating Company Ltd have been served with a temporary injunction order by the East African Court […]

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The Healers of Chhattisgarh 

Indigenous healers in Central India are struggling in the face of legal and environmental challenges. When the Forest Rights Act was passed in India in 2006, it was identified as an ‘act to recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been […]

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Indonesia pushes Environmental Deregulation after deadly flood and deforestation.

The administration of President Joko Widodo in Indonesia is currently pushing a slate of environmental deregulation policies through proposing over 1,200 amendments to 80 existing laws in parliament. While the government claims that these policies will boost the country’s economic growth, experts are warning that they will threaten to dismantle the already small number of existing […]

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Mega-mining threatens Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul

Summary:  Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in the 2018 Brazilian presidential election represented a new ultraconservative right-wing rise to power that radically dismantled environmental policies. Brazil’s Minister of Environment has been previously convicted for illegally favouring mining companies. In the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul alone, there are more than 150 mining projects that may leverage the […]

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Supreme Court hands environmentalists a win in water pollution case.

The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with environmentalists by giving a broad reading to the types of water-borne pollution covered by the Clean Water Act. In a 6-3 decision, the justices held that a permit is required for either a direct discharge of pollutants into federally regulated rivers and oceans or its “functional equivalent.” “Suppose, for […]

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Carmakers accused of using crises to avert emissions crackdown

The motor industry has been accused by campaigners of trying to use the coronavirus crisis to avert stricter environmental regulation, after correspondence showed carmakers had lobbied the EU to defer impending laws. The European carmakers’ association, ACEA, and other groups representing the supply chain called on the EU to delay implementing regulations because the pandemic […]

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Trump administration allows companies to break pollution laws during coronavirus pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suspended its enforcement of environmental laws during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, signaling to companies they will not face any sanction for polluting the air or water of Americans. Polluters will be able to ignore environmental laws as long as they can claim in some way these violations were caused by […]

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Billion-dollar wildlife industry in Vietnam under assault as law drafted to halt trading

Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has asked the country’s agriculture ministry to draft a directive to stop illegal trading and consumption of wildlife over fears it spreads disease. The directive, seen as a victory for animal rights organisations, will lead to a clamping down on street-side markets dotted across the country, increase prosecutions of […]

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Inter American Court recognises Human Right to Healthy Environment

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has issued a landmark opinion that equates environmental protection with human rights, a conclusion that could force countries in Latin American and beyond to tackle climate change more aggressively. The advisory opinion represents the first time the Inter-American Court has recognized a fundamental right to a healthy environment, a […]

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