Environmental Law – Common, Substantive or a Mixture of Sorts?

By Neha Anand, Law Group Intern, Goeman Bind HTO

The author, Neha Anand is pursuing a five year B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) course at Chanakya National Law University, Patna. She is expected to graduate in 2018. She currently holds the position of Law Group Intern at Goeman Bind HTO, a Think Tank. Anyone can quote from this paper but due acknowledgement and reference should be given to Goeman Bind HTO, Think Tank. This paper is approved by Dr. Neeti Shikha, Expert & Leader with Goeman Bind HTO.

“Environmental law lies at the intersection of science, law and public policy. Although it is now an established and recognised field, environmental law continues to evolve.”[1]

The President of the United States of America announced in the month of June, 2017 that the US will withdraw from the historic Paris Climate Deal, 2015.[2]This led to a lot of discussion as regards the soundness of the action and its impact on the international climate change regime. There have been speculations pointing towards the inevitable failure of the latest agreement on account of US’s withdrawal as had happened in the case of Kyoto Protocol. But then again, the other world powers have stood strongly in favour of the Deal giving due recognition to the importance of such an agreement which has come into force with an unprecedented speed.The Paris Climate Deal is one of the many international environmental agreements aimed at the prevention of further degradation of the environment coupled with the protection of the natural resources that constitute it. The Deal symbolizes the concern of the international community towards protection of the environment. The US’s withdrawal from the deal has raised doubts on the existence of international consensus over the concerned environmental laws making up the prevailing climate change regime. Does this mean that environmental law will gradually wither in the winds of international politics? Does it lead to the conclusion that the future of environmental law depends on how nations decide to accord recognition to it and implement the same within their respective territories or do the roots of environmental law fall within the realm of substantive law regime or common law regime or both thereby rendering its future secure? This paper attempts to explore these questions.

“Environment” is a very broad field, and is the topic of more than 300 international conventions and thousands of agreements and treaties.[3] International environmental treaties, rules about the use of harmful things, waste management directives, creating National Parks; rules governing food production, conservation of water resources, pollution control, protection of flora and fauna, all of these rules and many others like them are environmental laws.[4]Environmental law consists of principles, policies, directives, and regulations enacted and enforced by local, national, or international entities to regulate human treatment of the nonhuman world.

The domestic laws of various countries which govern the environment related issues are often products of their international obligations making it incumbent on them to frame such laws for the protection of the environment. The vast field covers a broad range of topics in diverse legal settings, such as state bottle-return laws in the United States, regulatory standards for emissions from coal-fired power plants in Germany, initiatives in China to create a “Green Great Wall”—a shelter belt of trees—to protect Beijing from sandstorms.[5]

During the late 20th century environmental law developed from a modest adjunct of the law of public health regulations into an almost universally recognized independent field protecting both human health and nonhuman nature.[6] The emergence of environmental law in the twentieth century marks a fundamental shift in human consciousness toward the recognition ultimately that humanity is one family bound together on one planet and jointly responsible to use the environment without destroying it.[7]

The study of Environmental Law has been regarded as very difficult on account of it being in actuality a complex mixture of different types of laws (in terms of how they are brought into existence). The rules are not located in one place. Environmental rules are a mix of;

  1. common law handed down through court rulings;
  2. federal and provincial statutes;
  3. regulations whose main purpose is environmental protection; and
  4. environmental protection rules hidden in statutes created for other purposes.[8]

“Environmental law is a body of law—a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations, and policies—that seeks to moderate or eliminate the actual or projected harm to the natural environment resulting from human activities.”[9]

Environmental law is the body of statutes and common law that is and will continue to be used to protect and improve environmental conditions.”[10]

The Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Stockholm Declaration of 1972, Rio Declaration of 1992 and the various judgements of the International Court of Justice and arbitral tribunals form the bulk of the International Environmental Law (IEL). At the national level, we have the Constitution, domestic legislations (special and general) meant for the protection of the environment and the judgements passed by the apex court (in common law countries) which are the ultimate sources of environmental law.

There is a debate over whether environmental law falls under the common law regime or under the substantive law regime or if it is a mix of both. This paper attempts to establish the position of environmental law as in fact a mixture of both substantive and common law regimes.

First, both these concepts have been explained with enhanced clarity. Second, the sources of environmental law at the international level and national level have been categorized into substantive and common law regimes. The classification of national environmental laws into substantive law and common law has further been discussed with the help of Indian environmental laws. In India, there are over 500 Central and State statutes which have at least some concern   with   environmental   protection, either   directly   or   indirectly.  Besides that, the common law and Constitutional remedies relating to environmental protection are also there.[11] The intended conclusion has been arrived at by way of a detailed study of the development of environmental laws in India.

What Kind of Law is Environmental Law?

This is an important question which needs to be answered with precision. Environmental Law can be said to be what we understand as an umbrella law encompassing all forms of regulations irrespective of how they have come into existence over a period.

The scope of this research paper is limited to ascertaining the true nature of environmental law with regard to common or substantive law regime or otherwise as the case maybe. For this, a clear understanding of the concepts of common law and substantive law is necessary.

Common Law and Substantive Law Explained

Common law is generally uncodified. Common law is largely based on precedent, meaning the judicial decisions that have already been made in similar cases. These precedents are maintained over time through the records of the courts as well as historically documented in collections of case law known as yearbooks and reports. The precedents to be applied in the decision of each new case are determined by the presiding judge.[12] Substantive law, on the other hand, refers to statutory or written law that governs the rights and obligations of everyone within its jurisdiction. It defines crimes and punishments, as well as civil rights and responsibilities.[13]

The following headings along with their sub-headings discuss the forms (substantive and common) in which environmental laws exist today at the international and the national levels.

International Environmental Law

Environmental laws may aim to regulate policy locally, state wise (or in the province), nationally, or internationally. International environmental law, is a subset of environmental law and refers to the body of international law that is concerned with the protection of the global environment.[14]

Taking into account the explanation of the concepts as discussed earlier, the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) fall under substantive law and the case laws come under the category of common law.

 Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Agreements or treaties among different nations are generally referred to as public international law. Because the field of international environmental law focuses on the relations and agreements among nations, it is part of public international law.

The Stockholm and Rio Declarations are outputs of the first and second global environmental conferences, respectively, namely the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, June 5-16, 1972, and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, June 3-14, 1992.[15] The Stockholm Conference was perhaps the first major attempt to conserve and protect  the  human  environment  at  the  international  level while Rio Conference was the formal endorsement of the concept of sustainable development introduced to the international community.[16] Thereafter, a number of multilateral environmental agreements have been signed by the countries acknowledging the dire need to protect the environment for the future generations.

There are numerous international environmental agreements made to protect the environment in different ways. These are legally binding international instruments through which national governments commit to achieving specific environmental goals. Some of the important international environmental agreements are;

  1. The Paris Climate Accord, 2015
  2. Convention on Biological Diversity
  3. Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
  4. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
  5. Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes And their Disposal (Basel Convention)
  6. Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC Convention) 1998
  7. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and so on.

Case Laws

Much environmental law also is embodied in the decisions of international courts. Some of it is manifested in arbitrated decisions, such as the Trail Smelter arbitration (1941), which enjoined the operation of a smelter located in British Columbia, Canada, near the international border with the U.S. state of Washington and held that no State has the right to use or permit the use of its territory in such a manner as to cause injury by fumes in or to the territory of another or the properties or persons therein.[17]

In the Corfu Channel Case, the I.C.J. decided that Albania was liable for damage caused to British warships passing through the international straits of Corfu lying within the territorial waters of Albania, on the ground that every state has an obligation not to allow knowingly its territory to be used for acts contrary to the rights of other states.[18]

National Environmental Law

Environmental law exists at many levels and is only partly constituted by international declarations, conventions, and treaties. The bulk of environmental law is statutory, that is, encompassed in the enactments of legislative bodies and regulatory, that is, generated by agencies charged by governments with protection of the environment.[19]

The national constitutions and the statutes governing environment related issues fall under the substantive law regime while the judgements of the national and local courts upholding international environmental principles and concepts fall under the common law regime.

The Constitution

Many countries have included some right to environmental quality in their national constitutions. Environmental protection has been enshrined in the German Grundgesetz (“Basic Law”), which states that the government must protect for “future generations the natural foundations of life.”[20] Similarly, the Chinese Constitution declares that the state “ensures the rational use of natural resources and protects rare animals and plants”; the South African Constitution recognizes a right to “an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations”; the Bulgarian Constitution provides for a “right to a healthy and favourable environment, consistent with stipulated standards and regulations”; and the Chilean Constitution contains a right to live in an environment free from contamination.[21]

Domestic Legislations

Countries across the world enact various environmental legislations for giving effect to their international obligations or otherwise. For example, in the United States, the environment is mostly protected with statutes and regulations. A statute is a law passed by Congress, while a regulation is a law promulgated by a federal agency, that is, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The Clean Air Act, 1970 and The Clean Water Act, 1972 are two crucial statutes which govern EPA which in turn frames regulations for the effective enforcement of the said governing laws.[22] The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts are frequently used to regulate the polluting activities of private enterprises. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applies only to the actions of the U.S. government. NEPA requires that the federal government undertake a comprehensive environmental impact assessment before it can proceed with projects that are likely to harm the environment.[23]

Development of National Environmental Laws through Case Laws

The jurisprudence on environmental law has greatly developed through the decisions of national courts. For example, in Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission (1965), a U.S. federal appeals court voided a license granted by the Federal Power Commission for the construction of an environmentally damaging pumped-storage hydroelectric plant (that is, a plant that would pump water from a lower to an upper reservoir) in an area of stunning natural beauty. Significant local decisions included National Audubon Society v. Superior Court (1976), in which the California Supreme Court dramatically limited the ability of Los Angeles to divert water that might otherwise would have filled Mono Lake in California’s eastern desert.[24]

Laws are framed by way of both judicial decisions and statutes be it at the international level or national level. Hence, environmental law does not only fall under common law regime but also under substantive law regime. The upcoming chapters will further substantiate this stance from the point of view of Indian environmental laws.

Indian Environmental Law as part of the substantive law regime

After 1970, comprehensive (special) environmental laws were enacted by the Central Government in India. It was the Stockholm Declaration of 1972 which had turned the attention of the Indian Government to the boarder perspective of environmental protection. This chapter intends to cover the various Constitutional and legislative (general and special) measures taken, rules framed thereunder, policies adopted, and agencies established by the Government of India for the protection of the environment.

Protection granted by the Indian Constitution

The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India added Article 48A and 51A(g) which come under the Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Duties respectively. The Article 48A states: “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country.” The Article 51A(g) imposes a duty upon every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment and confers right to come before the Court for appropriate relief. The Supreme Court of India in Sachidanand Pandey v. State of West Bengal[25] stated that the Court must keep in mind the above said articles whenever a case related to environmental problem presents itself before the Court.

The Apex Court in Damodar Rao v. S.O. Municipal Corporation[26] held that the environmental pollution and spoliation which is slowly poisoning and polluting the atmosphere should also be regarded as amounting to violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.[27] For the first time in the case of Subash Kumar v. State of Bihar[28], the court declared that the right to life under Article 21 includes right to clean environment, drinking-water and pollution-free atmosphere.[29] The Supreme Court has interpreted the right to life and personal liberty  to  include  the  right  to  wholesome  environment.[30]

Protection accorded by the Special Environmental Legislations

The different statutes/legislations enacted in India exclusively for environment protection are enumerated as below;

  1. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was enacted with a view to provide for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants.
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 provides for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of the wholesomeness of water. The Act prohibits the entering into of any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter in any stream or well. The Act provides for the formation of Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board.[31]
  3. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 aims to provide levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons carrying certain industries and local authorities to augment the resources of the Central Board and the State Boards constituted for the prevention and control of water pollution. The object is to extract money from those whose activities lead to pollution and who must bear the expenses of the maintaining and running of such Boards.
  4. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 was passed with a view to check deforestation of forests.
  5. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 has been designed to prevent, control and abate air pollution. The major sources of air pollution are industries, automobiles, domestic fires, etc.
  6. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 was enacted to provide for the protection and improvement of the quality of environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution. The Act came into existence as a direct consequence of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
  7. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 provides for public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accidents occurring while handling any hazardous substance and for matters connected therewith.
  8. The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 provides for the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of environment related cases.
  9. The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997, provides for the establishment of a National Environment Appellant Authority (NEAA) to hear appeals with respect to restriction in areas in which any industries, operations or processes are not to be carried out or to be carried out subject to certain safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  10. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, intends to facilitate access to genetic materials while at the same time striving to protect the traditional knowledge associated with them.

Policies and Rules

The policy statements, though unenforceable in a court of law, represent a broad, political consensus and amplify the duties of the government under the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Part IV of the Constitution.[32] In the hands of a creative judge the policy documents may serve as an aid for interpreting environmental statutes or for spelling out the obligations of government agencies under environmental laws.[33] There are three key policies relating to environmental protection in India viz., The National Forest Policy, 1988, Policy statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992 and National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992.[34]

Rules represent a form of delegated legislation through which the government exercises law-making authority as derived from the statutes mandating the framing of such rules for the effective enforcement of the relevant environmental protection provisions. Some of such rules are The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules of 1975, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules of 1978, The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules of 1982, The Environment (Protection) Rules of 1986, Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules of 1989, Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules of 1989, The Forest (Conservation) Rules of 1981, The Wildlife (Transactions and Taxidermy) Rules of 1973, The Wildlife (Stock Declaration) Central Rules of 1973, The Wildlife (Protection) Licensing (Additional Matters for Consideration) Rules of 1983, The Wildlife (Protection) Rules of 1995, The Wildlife (Specified Plants – Conditions for Possession by Licensee) Rules of 1995 and The Public Liability Insurance Rules of 1991.

In 2000, the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, framed by the Central Government under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, came into effect. In the same year, the Central Government put forth the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control), rules, 2000 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Protection accorded by certain General Legislations

General legislations include the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (sections 78, 268, 269, 270, 278, 290); Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (section 133); Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (section 91) and specific sectoral legislations having a bearing on the environmental aspects viz. The Factories Act, 1948, The Mines Act, 1952, The Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951, The Insecticides Act, 1968, The Atomic Energy Act, 1962, The Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 and 1988, The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, etc.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

On 27th January 1994, the EIA Regulations came into force for the first time. They made it mandatory for specified projects to conduct an EIA. Such projects need prior environmental clearance. Before initiation, they must submit their reports to the Impact Assessment Agency. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 provided for these regulations. The primary aim of EIA is to assess the potential impact of a project on the environment. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) acts as the Impact Assessment Agency.[35]

Indian Environmental Law as part of the common law regime

Article 141 of the Indian Constitution lays down the doctrine of stare decisis, that is the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent. This forms the basis of common law under which judges exercise their law-making authority by way of landmark judgements on crucial matters which in turn serve to act as precedents for future cases on similar facts and circumstances. The Supreme judgements, that is, the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India as provided for under Article 141.

After a lot of deliberation for an appropriate environment tribunal which would give exclusive attention to cases related to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources, The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was founded on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.[36]

There exists is a very sensitive line between the orders passed by the NGT and those of the Supreme Court. NGT has succeeded in bridging the gap between a Tribunal and the Apex Court of the country.[37]

The judgements are particularly focused on the three principles of Environment legislation – Polluter Pays principle[38], Precautionary principle[39], Public Trust Doctrine and most importantly Sustainable Development[40].

Development of Environmental Governance Principles through Case Laws

The Common law regime is fundamentally marked by the concept of precedents, as discussed earlier, which plays a significant role in the development of environmental jurisprudence. The courts in India have played a vital role in according due recognition to the principles of environmental governance such as the doctrine of Absolute Liability, Precautionary Principle, right to clean environment as a fundamental right etc. In the following paragraphs, some of these cases have been discussed.

In the case of Union Carbide Corporation v. Union Of India[41], the court developed the doctrine of absolute liability. It held that, where an enterprise is occupied with an inherently dangerous or a hazardous activity and harm results to anybody by virtue of a mishap in the operation of such dangerous or naturally unsafe movement coming about, for instance, in getaway of poisonous gas, the enterprise is strictly and completely obligated to repay every one of the individuals who are influenced by the accident and such risk is not subject to any exemptions.[42]

In the case of M.C. Mehta v. Union of India[43]the court observed that the Precautionary Principle makes it mandatory for the State Government to anticipate prevent and attack the causes of environment degradation. The Supreme Court held that in order to protect the two lakes (Badhkal and Suraj Kund) from environmental degradation, it is necessary to limit the construction activity in the close vicinity of the lakes.

Further, The Polluter Pays principle was accorded recognition by the Supreme Court in the case of Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India[44]. The Court observed in clear terms that the absolute liability for having caused harm to the environment lies not only to compensate the victims of pollution but also to restore the environment’s original position prior to the undertaking of the concerned polluting activity.

The Supreme Court in the case of Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India[45] observed that the “Precautionary principle” and the “Polluter Pays Principle” are part of the environmental law of the country. These principles are essential features of “Sustainable development” which has been accepted as part of the law of the land.

The Public Trust Doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources like air, water, sea and the forests are so important for the people that it would be unjust to bring a claim of private ownership over them. The State holds the resources in trust for the benefit of the people and must take steps to prevent any harm to them. The public trust doctrine, as discussed by the Supreme Court in the case of M. C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath and Others[46]is a part of the law of the land.

In 2001, through the case of Murli S. Deora v. Union of India[47], the Supreme Court of India imposed ban on smoking of tobacco in public places all over the country on the observation that smoking causes harm not only to the smokers but also to non-smokers who are forced to inhale the second-hand smoke.

National Green Tribunal Judgements

The Posco Case – It is one of the most important cases in NGT’s history. The Order to suspend the establishment of the 12 MTPA capacity steel plants in Odisha came as a radical step in favour of the local communities and forests. The Tribunal in this case stood its ground to support sustainable development and valued local communities above economic profit from the project.[48]

In another case of The Sand Mining Order, the Tribunal put a ban on all forms of illegal river and ocean bed sand mining which were rampant across the country due to the sand mafia’s influence over the sand market.[49]The tribunal pronounced that sand mining in the name of sand bar removal cannot be permitted. Most of the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) notifications for sand bar removal have not been followed.[50]


The objective of this research has been to ascertain whether environmental law falls under the category of common law or under the category of substantive law or otherwise as the case maybe. At the beginning of the paper, the idea that was brought to the forefront by the various definitions adopted for environmental law was that it is a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations, and policies. Considering the meanings of the concepts of common law and substantive law, treaties, statutes, conventions, regulations and policies, all belong to the category of substantive law as also rightly put by one of the definitions.

Examples of all kinds of forms in which environmental law exists today find place in this research work, thereby leading to the unequivocal conclusion that this branch of law is in fact both a part of common law and substantive law regimes, be it at the international level or at the national level. Though, when it comes to public international law, the case laws do not have a binding effect on other cases that arise subsequently, they merely have a persuasive value and the judges can refuse to take their pronouncements into account. But, this does not alter the fact that the international cases are recognized sources of law (Art. 38 (d) of the ICJ statute) and the various judicial decisions have contributed to the growth of customary international law in the forms of opinio jurisand state practice. The Indian substantive and common law regimes have contributed immensely towards the growth of environmental law particularly after 1970. The numerous Supreme Court judgements have proved instrumental in giving due recognition to the important environmental law principles and concepts which are not found in express form in any of the statutes enacted for the protection of the environment. Hence, environmental law, has extensively been, and continues to be developed with the help of substantive (statutes) as well common law (judicial pronouncements) regimes. In light of the aforementioned observations, it can be safely concluded that the future of environmental laws does not depend on international politics alone as some of the basic principles of environmental governance have formed their roots deep within the domestic sphere of environmental jurisprudence.

Bibliography/List of References


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[1] Theodore Garrett, The Past and Future of Environmental Law, WHOS’SWHOLEGAL, http://whoswholegal.com/news/features/article/32484/past-future-environmental-law, (last updated September, 2015).

[2] Mythili Sampathkumar and Alexandra Wilts, Donald Trump Confirms Withdrawal From Paris Agreement On Climate Change In Huge Blow For Global Deal, THE INDEPENDENT, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-paris-agreement-climate-change-withdrawal-latest-news-updates-global-warming-deal-a7768116.html, (last updated June 1, 2017).

[3] Dr. Ta Thi Minh Ly, Problems in enforcing environmental law and ensuring environmental rights for legal aid beneficiaries, IUCN, https://www.iucn.org/content/problems-enforcing-environmental-law-and-ensuring-environmental-rights-legal-aid (last updated December 30, 2012).

[4] Jeff Surtees, What is Environmental Law and Why is it Hard to Understand?, LAWNOW, http://www.lawnow.org/environmental-law-hard-understand/, (last updated January 4, 2017).

[5] Federico Cheever and Celia I. Campbell-Mohn, Environmental Law, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, https://www.britannica.com/topic/environmental-law, (last visited August 19, 2017).

[6]  Ibid.

[7] Environmental Law, NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Environmental_law, (last visited August 19, 2017).

[8] Ibid at 4.

[9] Ibid at 5.

[10] Ibid at 4.

[11] Beena, Environmental Legislations In India, SHODHGANGA, 1 (January 15, 2013), http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/6565/9/09_chapter%204.pdf.

[12] The Common Law and Civil Law Traditions, THE ROBINS COLLECTION, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, https://www.law.berkeley.edu/library/robbins/CommonLawCivilLawTraditions.html (last visited August 19, 2017).

[13] Legal Information Institute, CORNELL LAW SCHOOL, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/substantive_law (last visited August 19, 2017).

[14] Environmental Law, NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA, http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Environmental_law, (last visited August 19, 2017).

[15] Günther Handl, Stockholm Declaration and Rio Declaration, AUDIOVISUAL LIBRARY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, http://legal.un.org/avl/ha/dunche/dunche.html (last visited August 19, 2017).

[16] A Brief History From Stockholm To Rio, WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, https://www.wcl.american.edu/environment/iel/teachman2/t2_4.cfm (last visited August 19, 2017).

[17] Federico Cheever and Celia I. Campbell-Mohn, Environmental Law, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, https://www.britannica.com/topic/environmental-law, (last visited August 19, 2017).

[18] Patricia Birnie, The Development of International Environmental Law, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 9 (July, 1977), http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/20096800.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Ade9a3031cc6a7defe110b12eb6b37097.

[19] Ibid at 14.

[20] Federico Cheever and Celia I. Campbell-Mohn, Environmental Law, ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, https://www.britannica.com/topic/environmental-law, (last visited August 19, 2017).

[21] Ibid.

[22] Robinson Meyer, How The U.S. Protects The Environment, From Nixon To Trump, THE ATLANTIC, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/how-the-epa-and-us-environmental-law-works-a-civics-guide-pruitt-trump/521001/ (last updated March 29, 2017).

[23] Armin Rosencranz, Paul Kibel and Kathleen D. Yurchak, The Principles, Structure, and Implementation of International Environmental Law, GLOBAL CHANGE INSTRUCTION PROGRAM, 8 (July, 1999), https://www.ucar.edu/communications/gcip/m3elaw/m3pdf.pdf.

[24] Ibid at 4.

[25] AIR 1987 SC 1109

[26] AIR 1987 AP 171

[27] Ten Most Important Environmental Law Judgments in India, IPLEADERS, https://blog.ipleaders.in/environment-law-judgment/ (last updated June 13, 2017).

[28] AIR 1991 SC 420

[29] Environmental Protection Laws In India, LAWTEACHER, https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/environmental-law/environmental-protection-laws-in-india.php (last visited August 20, 2017).

[30] Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra, Dehradun V. State of U.P., AIR 1988 SC 1037

[31] V.K. Agarwal, Environmental Laws in India: Challenges for Enforcement, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ECOLOGY, NEW DELHI AND JAIPUR, 2 (February 28, 2011), http://dl4a.org/uploads/pdf/environmental%20law.pdf.

[32] Beena, Environmental Legislations In India, SHODHGANGA, 1 (January 15, 2013), http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/6565/9/09_chapter%204.pdf.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Environmental Laws Of India, C.P.R. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRE, http://www.environmentallawsofindia.com/the-environment-definitions-and-acts.html (last visited August 20, 2017).

[35] Meghna Sengupta, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process in India, PLINSIGHTS, http://www.pocketlawyer.com/blog/environmental-impact-assessment-india-eia-process/ (last updated June 12, 2017).

[36] National Green Tribunal: Three years of Revolutionary Jurisprudence, CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/enablers/cel/national_green_tribunal/article_by_cel/ (last visited August 20, 2017).

[37] Ibid.

[38] Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration, 1992 – National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investments.

[39] Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration, 1992 – Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

[40] Principle 4 of the Rio Declaration, 1992 – ‘Sustainable Development’ means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. (Brundtland Report)

[41] AIR 1990 SC 273

[42] Atisha Sisodiya, The Role of Indian Judiciary in Protection of Environment in India, ACADEMIKE, https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/role-indian-judiciary-protection-environment-india/#_edn11 (last visited August 20, 2017).

[43] (1997) 1 Camp L.J. 199 (SC)

[44] AIR 1996 SC 144

[45] AIR 1996 SC 2715

[46] (1997)1 SCC 388

[47] (2001) 3 SCC 765

[48] Janaki Lenin, Posco Verdict: Finally, Environmental Justice In India, FIRSTPOST, http://www.firstpost.com/india/posco-verdict-finally-environmental-justice-in-india-269201.html (last updated April 8, 2012).

[49] National Green Tribunal: Three years of Revolutionary Jurisprudence, CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, http://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/enablers/cel/national_green_tribunal/article_by_cel/ (last visited August 20, 2017).

[50] Gururaj A Paniyadi, No Sand Mining In Coastal Regulation Zone: NGT, DECCAN CHRONICLE, http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/280217/no-sand-mining-in-coastal-regulation-zone-ngt.html (last updated February 28, 2017).