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Public participation in transnational law: access to justice in environmental matters in North American treaties

Grandbois, Maryse and Bouchard, M.C.A. (2011) Public participation in transnational law: access to justice in environmental matters in North American treaties. Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law (MqJICEL), 7 (1). pp. 1-21. ISSN 1448-8345

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    Abstract

    When created, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was considered historic since it was the first multilateral trading regime to incorporate environmental considerations. It contributed to raising NGOs' expectations that NAFTA and its side agreement, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) would enhance government accountability and transparency in the dual context of trade and the environment. Thus, NAFTA and the NAAEC represented at that time, a laboratory for public participation on environmental justice at the international level. This article examines the transformation that has occurred in the fields of public participation and access to justice in environmental matters in North America since NAFTA and NAAEC 's inception. The first part focuses on the NAAEC's citizen submission process and the extent to which it has promoted transparency and public participation in an international environmental regime. The second part provides an overview of NAFTA controversial investor-state arbitration process and describes how its hermetic procedures left no room for citizen participation and access to justice in environmental matters. It further illustrates how environmental groups have fought for access to justice and how arbitral tribunals have recently recognized the need for greater openness.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
    Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
    Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2011 20:02
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 20:02
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/4630
    UNSPECIFIED

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