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Human Dignity and the Adjudication of Environmental Rights
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Human Dignity and the Adjudication of Environmental Rights

9781789905939 Edward Elgar Publishing
Dina Lupin Townsend, Visiting Researcher, University of Witwatersrand and Research Consultant specialising in international environmental law, indigenous peoples' rights and legal theory
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78990 593 9 Extent: 304 pp
Focusing on contemporary debates in philosophy and legal theory, this ground-breaking book provides a compelling enquiry into the nature of human dignity. The author not only illustrates that dignity is a concept that can extend our understanding of our environmental impacts and duties, but also highlights how our reliance on and relatedness to the environment further extends and enhances our understanding of dignity itself.

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Focusing on contemporary debates in philosophy and legal theory, this ground-breaking book provides a compelling enquiry into the nature of human dignity. The author not only illustrates that dignity is a concept that can extend our understanding of our environmental impacts and duties, but also highlights how our reliance on and relatedness to the environment further extends and enhances our understanding of dignity itself.

Against the background of current global threats to the realisation of rights, including severe environmental degradation and depleted reserves of essential natural resources, this innovative book considers whether dignity has any role to play in addressing these new problems, as well as in securing environmental rights and greater environmental care. The author provides an astute examination of important developments in human and environmental rights across a range of jurisdictions and levels, and considers whether human dignity should play a more central role in judicial considerations regarding environmental rights and environmental threats to human rights.

Eminently engaging, this forward-thinking book will prove a critical read for legal academics and scholars with an interest in human dignity and environmental rights, as well as judicial reasoning and legal philosophy more widely. Its practical presentation of recent developments will also be of great importance to practitioners and policy-makers working in human rights and environmental law.
Critical Acclaim
‘I am quite impressed by the depth and breadth of Dr Townsend’s scholarship on the history of the idea (legal and otherwise) of ‘dignity,’ of her mastery of comparative jurisprudence in domestic and international courts, and of her clear and compelling writing. My thoughts were provoked by her discussions on just about every page. The reader will learn a tremendous amount not just about the history of human rights jurisprudence in all its forms, but about the comparative law of indigenous environmental human rights, and rights for future generations. Furthermore, the comparative lens, including substantial jurisprudence from the global South, is most welcome. I certainly recommend the book to any practitioner or scholar interested in the current and future state of environmental human rights jurisprudence.’
– David Takacs, Law, Environment and Development Journal

‘Dina Townsend’s extraordinary book catches us constantly by surprise: can pragmatism help us rethink the connection between human dignity and environmental protection? Can human dignity be also posthuman? Do the definitions of dignity found in history, in courts of law, and on the field converge? Townsend’s findings are nuanced, astonishingly well-argued, and consistently convincing. The work effortlessly flits through issues of temporality, universalism, identity, indigenous jurisprudence amongst others, applying Townsend’s erudite contrapuntal method and finally leading to a soaring possibility for rethinking dignity as a major instrument of environmental protection.’
– Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, University of Westminster, UK

‘By drawing attention to the environmental dimension of human dignity, Dina Townsend uncovers an account of humanness that erodes the distinction between human and environmental interests. This book is an invaluable read for everyone – but in particular legal scholars and practitioners, law-makers and judges – interested in a deep legal analysis of the fundamental link between human rights and the environment.’
– Christina Voigt, Professor, University of Oslo, Department of Public and International Law, Norway

For too long, human rights and environmental advocacy have lived in separate camps. But as climate change and environmental degradation threaten to dramatically alter the lives we lead, new ways of thinking about human rights and human lives need to be developed to meet current challenges. Dina Townsend's book does just that: she provides a new theoretical approach to human dignity that recognizes the integral place of the natural environment in the human experience, and from there, she demonstrates how environmental dignity can and must be integrated into modern human rights practices. This is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the next generation of human rights advocacy.’
– Erin Daly, Widener University, Delaware Law School, US
Contents
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. A History Of Dignity 3. The Nature Of Human Dignity In The Judicial Reasoning Of Courts 4. Environmentally Constituted Humanness – Using Dignity To Redefine ‘Humanness’ In Human Rights Law 5. Dignity And Identity – Using Dignity To Defend Claims To An Environmental Identity 6. Dignity And Our Environmental Obligations To Future Generations 7. Conclusion Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 78990 594 6
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