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Welcome to IELRC.ORG

The International Environmental Law Research Centre is an independent research organisation focusing on international and comparative environmental law issues, with a particular emphasis on India and East Africa.

The aim of the IELRC is to contribute to the establishment of legal and institutional frameworks which foster sustainable environmental management in developing countries in an equitable international context...    [ read more ]


Latest news on IELRC.ORG

 
   

PhD funding at SOAS University of London for a project on Mining, Land and Water Law: Ensuring Sustainable and Equitable Outcomes. A new funding opportunity for PhD applicants seeking to work at the intersection of mining, and and water law is offered for a project co-supervised at SOAS and Birkbeck. For further information, visit the following page towards the end of 2016.

 
   

OpEd in The Statesman by P. Cullet, 'Why Delhi Must Think Beyond Water ATMs’. Read the full article here.

 
   

The Government of India, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has put out for comments the Draft National Water Framework Law and the Draft Model Bill for Conservation Protection and Regulation of Groundwater drafted by the Committee of which Prof. Cullet is a member. The call for comments can be found on this link.

 
   

Prof. Philippe Cullet has been invited to be a Member of the Government of India, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation’s ‘Committee to Draft National Water Framework Law’, a Member of the Committee ‘Re-draft the Draft Model Bill for Conservation Protection and Regulation of Ground Water, 2011’ and a Member of the Committee to ‘Draft River Basin Management Bill’. 

 
   

Publication of Sanitation Law and Policy in India – An Introduction to Basic Instruments edited by Philippe Cullet and Lovleen Bhullar. This is the first book bringing together the various dimensions of sanitation law in India in a single volume, a crucial contribution in the context of the fast increasing interest for all matters related to sanitation. [read more]

 
   

Latest academic publications

Please note that a complete list of our articles and book chapters an be accessed here, of our books here, of our working papers here and a comprehensive listing of all the documents published on this website including all the above as well as briefing papers, topical articles, special dossiers and miscellaneous documents can be accessed here.

 

 
 

Gender Issues in Electoral Politics in Kenya: The Unrealized Constitutional Promise

The road to gender equality has been long and arduous for Kenyan women’s movement. While progress has been made over time, a lot remains to be done in the area of representation in elective and appointive positions. Up to 2010, the Constitution and law were cited as the biggest obstacles in the way of gender equality. The promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 contains very robust equality, non-discrimination and participation provisions. However, it did not provide clear implementation mechanisms for the affirmative action provisions for women’s representation. It was hoped that the promulgation of this constitution would ensure gender equality. However, the promulgation and enactment laws is not sufficient. In the area of electoral politics, while the number of women in Parliament has increased, compliance with the constitutional rule of ‘not more than two thirds of the same gender’ remains a challenge because of the absence of mechanisms to ensure adherence. Not surprisingly, the earliest court matters and advisory opinions sought on the Constitution related to gender equality. It is against this background that this Chapter analyzes the promise of gender equality and non-discrimination in electoral politics. Contextualizing the issue within history, women’s struggles and the road to the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the authors identify critical milestones highlighting the role of the women’s movement. This provides the backdrop against which the 2013 elections are discussed. The authors also navigate the political and social manoeuvres that have surrounded attempts to meet the two thirds gender rule. The Chapter looks at how women fared in the 2013 elections -nominations, campaigns; the voting process; and the results of the first elections under the Constitution. The authors use gender analysis to illustrate how that politics remain a citadel of male political dominance noting that given the nature of Kenyan society, affirmative action measures and quotas remain the most effective pathways towards gender equality in electoral politics. The authors discuss disputes that have arisen noting the lack of canvassing of the gender question as a substantive issue to buttress the point that discussions on gender in Kenya are still at the periphery. They decry the dearth of bold, transformative and path-breaking jurisprudence on the substantive gender question in electoral politics in Kenya, which in their view is what is needed to alter the political playing field and the rules of the game. In conclusion, the authors argue that in no country has gender representation in politics been achieved through the promulgation of laws alone, highlighting the need for effective implementation mechanisms; incentives for actors to follow through; and sanctions meted against those who do not comply.

     
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Revamping the Groundwater Legal Regime in India: Towards Ensuring Equity and Sustainability

The evolution of a separate groundwater law in India is a relatively new development. This development marks a shift from the dated common law rule that recognises the uncontrolled right of landowners over groundwater, which perpetuated gross inequity in accessing groundwater by restricting access only to landowners. In this context, framing of new groundwater laws is seen as a key step towards addressing the aggravating problems of depletion and contamination of groundwater along with eliminating inequity in accessing groundwater. Access to groundwater is also directly related to the realisation of the right to water because groundwater is the most important source for drinking and other domestic purposes. Therefore, a legal framework ensuring sustainable use of, and equitable access to, groundwater will have tremendous impact and influence on the effective realisation of the right to water in the Indian context. In this background, this article examines the capacity of the existing and evolving groundwater law in India to ensure equity, sustainability and realisation of the right to water. This article also highlights the gaps in the existing legal framework in this regard and suggests basic principles, norms and approaches that should form the underlying elements of the groundwater legal regime to make it capable of ensuring sustainability, equity and human rights.

     
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Internal Mechanisms for Ensuring Independence and Accountability in the Judiciary in Kenya

Independence and accountability of the judiciary have engaged legal scholars, practitioners and crafters of constitutions, the world over. Their meaning, however, has been riddled with controversy. Indeed, as Handberg argues, the two emphasize different facets of the judicial role with independence speaking to absence of bias in decision making; and accountability relating to the responsibility that judges have to society and the citizens. Judicial independence and accountability ensure that judicial power is exercised legitimately…

     
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Spectrum Management and Regulation in Kenya: Engendering Inclusive Access to Technology and Information

Computers and other information communications technology (ICT) gadgets have become part of the households today and are no longer perceived as luxuries.1 In general, household ownership of personal computers and mobile phones and internet access are closely linked and dependent on household incomes2. Convergence3 of technologies in the ICT sector has also made it easier to access services like the internet. This changing technological landscape has brought about new opportunities however it also raises challenges on the spectrum management framework. This paper discusses the issues of spectrum focusing inequitable access, benefit to the public and overall national development. It expands the discourse from the typical narrative of the economic benefits to the market players to include the policy considerations of spectrum as a commons and the need for its equitable distribution. This is particularly pertinent as technological innovations have also changed the landscape and increased demand for spectrum by different users. This is also critical due to the fact that spectrum is a finite resource and the regulatory framework for its optimal use and sharing are rapidly developing. Convergence of certain sectors have also changed the market landscape and spurring debates on net neutrality4 to enhance competition in the offering of Internet related services.5Policy makers and regulators must therefore craft pro-active policy and regulatory solutions to enhance access to internet and other media for the public and inclusivity in the digital world.6Indeed the benefits of the digital economy can only be enjoyed with the when the policy makers and regulators take equality of access to spectrum into consideration. With such equitable access, service providers will be encouraged to keep up with dynamic innovation and growth of the information and technology sector. This is why this report focuses on the need to engender inclusive access to technology and information for all.

     
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Governing Water to Foster Equity and Conservation: Need for New Legal Instruments

Noting that the central government has taken constructive steps to prepare the water sector to address the multiple challenges ahead of it, this comment points out that it is the states that have the primary constitutional mandate over water. States have to not only adopt legislation based on the centre’s groundwater model law, adapting its principles to local circumstances, but also framework legislation on the lines proposed by the Centre.

     
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