Following on from the announcement of the confirmed speakers for Plenary Session 4 Access to Environmental Justice, the Organizing Committee is delighted to profile Justice Susan Glazebrook of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, who will present a paper on "A Human Right to the Environment - Lofty Ideal or Sustainable Necessity?" on Friday 28 June: 9.00am-11.00am.


Justice Susan Glazebrook was appointed to the High Court in June 2000, to the Court of Appeal in May 2002 and to the Supreme Court in August 2012. Before her elevation to the Bench, she was a partner in a commercial law firm and served on a number of Boards and government advisory committees. Justice Glazebrook has a particular interest in the Asia/Pacific region and in 1998 was the President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, an organisation of business lawyers in the region. From 2002 to 2010, she was a member of the Advisory Council of Jurists for the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. From 2007 to 2012 Justice Glazebrook chaired the Institute of Judicial Studies, the body responsible for judicial education in New Zealand. She is currently a Board member of the International Association of Women Judges.

Abstract: A Human Right to the Environment - Lofty Ideal or Sustainable Necessity?

Ko au te whenua, Ko te whenua ko au - I am the land and the land is me.

The environment is of paramount importance to all of mankind. Its protection should be a priority on both the individual and state level. This paper addresses whether expressing environmental protection as a human right adds anything meaningful to existing measures of environmental protection. The paper discusses the possible content of any such environmental right and the question of how it might be reconciled or balanced with other rights. Of particular significance is the relationship of any environmental rights with any right to development and with indigenous and collective rights.

Organizing Committee: 11th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium 2013