Kerri Woods: Human rights and environmental sustainability

Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2010, ISBN 9871848448537
  • Josh GellersEmail author
Book Review

In Human Rights and Environmental Sustainability, Kerri Woods attempts to explicate the tensions between human rights and environmental sustainability through the lens of environmental ethics. Although such a task ultimately proves Sisyphean, Woods nonetheless makes several meaningful contributions to the debate within environmental ethics regarding the challenge of balancing economic globalization with environmental imperatives. In the introduction, Woods states her main intention—to assess the compatibility of human rights and environmental sustainability. She endeavors to accomplish this by critiquing both issues from the perspective of the other. In this sense, the book is foundationally philosophical and not empirical. However, this is not to say that Woods fails to apply her critique to the realities of modern life. Instead, she places her dialectical debate within the boundaries of the global economy and the international human rights regime. While Woods claims that her focus...


  1. Atapattu, S. (2002). The right to a healthy life or the right to die polluted? The emergence of a human right to a healthy environment under international law. Tulane Environmental Law Journal, 16, 65–126.Google Scholar
  2. Churchill, R. (1996). Environmental rights in existing human rights treaties. In A. E. Boyle & M. R. Anderson (Eds.), Human rights approaches to environmental protection (pp. 89–108). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Dommen, C. (1998). Claiming environmental rights: Some possibilities offered by the United Nations’ human rights mechanisms. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 11, 1–48.Google Scholar
  4. Ebeku, K. S. A. (2007). Constitutional right to a healthy environment and human rights approaches to environmental protection in Nigeria: Gbemre v. Shell revisited. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 16, 312–320.Google Scholar
  5. Gormley, W. P. (1990). The legal obligation of the international community to guarantee a pure and decent environment: The expansion of human rights norms. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 3, 85–116.Google Scholar
  6. Hancock, J. (2003). Environmental human rights: Power, ethics and law. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, B. E., Wolfson, S., & Targ, N. (2003). Human rights and the environment: A synopsis and some predictions. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 16, 359–402.Google Scholar
  8. Hodkova, I. (1991). Is there a right to a healthy environment in the international legal order? Connecticut Journal of International Law, 7, 65–80.Google Scholar
  9. Kilbourne, W. E. (1995). Green advertising: Salvation or oxymoron? Journal of Advertising, 24, 7–19.Google Scholar
  10. May, J. R. (2006). Constituting fundamental environmental rights worldwide. Pace Environmental Law Review, 23, 113–182.Google Scholar
  11. McClymonds, J. T. (1992). The human right to a healthy environment: An international legal perspective. New York Law School Law Review, 37, 583–633.Google Scholar
  12. Nickel, J. W. (1993). The human right to a safe environment: Philosophical perspectives on its scope and justification. Yale Journal of International Law, 18, 281–295.Google Scholar
  13. Picolotti, R., & Taillant, J. D. (Eds.). (2003). Linking human rights and the environment. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  14. Popović, N. A. F. (1996). Pursuing environmental justice with international human rights and state constitutions. Stanford Environmental Law Journal, 15, 338–374.Google Scholar
  15. Redgwell, C. (1996). Life, the universe and everything: A critique of anthropocentric rights. In A. E. Boyle & M. R. Anderson (Eds.), Human rights approaches to environmental protection (pp. 71–87). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Sax, J. L. (1990). The search for environmental rights. Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law, 6, 93–105.Google Scholar
  17. Shelton, D. (1991). Human rights, environmental rights, and the right to environment. Stanford Journal of International Law, 28, 103–138.Google Scholar
  18. Thorme, M. (1990). Establishing environment as a human right. Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 19, 301–342.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations