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The application of international environmental law principles in Latin America:

a world apart from the EU?
Academy of European Law
Volume, number, page: 
17: 4, pp.501-520
This paper presents a comparative discussion of the application of principles of international environmental law in the Latin American region and the European Union. The question we seek to answer is how (international) environmental principles are employed by Supreme Courts in Latin America, with a brief comparison with the approach by the European Court of Justice. This research presents an illustrative sample of Court of Justice cases and Supreme Court cases in Latin American countries to create an overview of different principles and approaches in practice. We construct a database and an illustrative sample of cases related to the environment since the Rio Declaration of 1992. This sample shows a wide range of principles of and approaches to environmental law in Latin America. Preliminary findings point to strong harmonization in the application of the principle of public participation and participation of indigenous groups in development projects. However, other principles, such as participation by women, are not widely disseminated or regularly deployed in arguments in court or in rulings. Others international environmental principles such as the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and the principle of sustainable development are also part of our analysis. This paper concludes that the application of environmental law principles in the regions needs to be integrated and strengthened.
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