Article: In Name or Nature? Implementing International Environmental Procedural Rights in the Post-Aarhus Environment: A Finnish Example

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Rights based approaches to environmental protection are on the increase as the public become more aware of both the environment around them and of their other civil and political rights. Whilst methods for combining environmental protection and rights based regulation still allude to a large conflict of anthropocentric versus ecocentric interests, one approach increasingly stands out as a potential effective solution; ‘procedural rights’. More commonly, this concerns rights to be heard, rights to information, to participation and the right of access to justice. Such perspectives are increasingly finding purchase within international environmental agendas and indeed, in several national jurisdictions have progressed from mere principles into more formal ‘hard-law’. In order to follow this progression and to assess the influence of international procedural rights national jurisdictions, this article looks in particular at the environmental law of Finland as an example, and seeks to illustrate the formation of one facet of internationally accepted procedural rights; that of public participation, within national environmental regulation.

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