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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


Policy Briefing - For COP26 Britain Must Host the Most Ambitious Climate Change Conference Ever [read more]


Thinking beyond the pandemic: Learning from Coronavirus to Tackle Climate Change: The imperative of Solidarity and Equity [read more]


Announcing the publication of Research Handbook on Law, Environment and the Global South edited by P. Cullet & S. Koonan. [read more]




Book launch by of Right to Sanitation in India – Critical Perspectives (edited by P. Cullet, S. Koonan & L. Bhullar), with Ms Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research (welcome address) and a panel constituted of Justice (retd) Madan B. Lokur, Hon’ble Judge, Supreme Court of India and Prof. Awadhendra Sharan, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, with Dr Usha Ramanathan, Independent Law Researcher moderating. For more details and to visualise the full event, see here.


Announcing the publication in January 2019 of Right to Sanitation in India - Critical Perspectives edited by P. Cullet, S. Koonan & L. Bhullar. [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.



Polluter Pays Principle in India: Assessing Conceptual Boundaries and Implementation Issues

Polluter Pays Principle ("PPP") is a widely-applied principle in environmental adjudication in India. At the same time, its conceptual boundaries and the challenges involved in its implementation have received little scholarly attention in the Indian context. This paper seeks to address, at least to some extent, this gap or inadequacy of knowledge through an analysis of judgments of the National Green Tribunal ("NGT"). This paper focuses on three aspects of PPP as emerging from NGT cases. First, it looks at the ways in which the meaning of the terms 'pollution' and 'polluter' evolved over a period of time through different cases. Second, it examines the methods of calculation of compensation adopted by NGT. Third, the paper analyses the rationale for applying PPP as explained by the NGT in different cases. Overall, the paper highlights inconsistencies and ambiguities in the understanding and application of PPP in India.

download the full text       size: 359 [KB]  

Manual Scavenging in India: State Apathy, Non-Implementation of Laws and Resistance by the Community

Manual scavenging has a long history in India and it continues even now in different forms. Legal responses to manual scavenging varied from time to time. In the contemporary context, it is seen as a violation of human dignity and many other human rights as well as an unacceptable sanitation practice. Nevertheless, the process towards elimination of manual scavenging has been slow, which led to organised resistance and protest, including litigation, by the manual scavenging community. This paper examines the issue of manual scavenging in India from a legal perspective. It analyses the ways in which the law has addressed the issue of manual scavenging and the strategies used by the manual scavenging community to get the law passed and implemented. It presents a complex scenario on how historical and social perceptions have shaped the legal discourse and the role of social movements in re-shaping or deconstructing the discourse.

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Country Report for Kenya

Soil has ecological, cultural, economic and political dimensions. It provides a wide range of natural habitats for living creatures; it supports diverse ecosystems of interdependent plant and animal life; and it is a source of livelihood for life forms great and small. Despite the recognition and acknowledgement of the critical functions of soil, there is no specific legal regime dealing with it. Owing to the wide range of activities related to environmental systems, soil protection tenets are dispersed across multiple laws and policies. They are found in laws dealing with land rights, land use, environmental and natural resource protection, and health, among others...

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Mapping out Options for Model Legislation for Sustainable Soil Management in Africa

Africa is the continent with the least soil degradation, while at the same time the pressure on soils is extremely high. Factors such as poverty, hunger, overuse, overpopulation and climate change are exacerbating this pressure. Hunger and poverty in Africa can only be overcome with fertile soil...

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Model Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017: A New Paradigm for Groundwater Regulation

The Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017 drafted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation provides a new template that states can use to adopt legislation capable of addressing the fast-increasing groundwater crisis faced by many states. This Bill follows on an earlier model bill drafted in 1970 and updated several times until 2005 on which the dozen of existing groundwater acts are based. This 1970 template is unsuited to the present needs of a country where groundwater is now the primary source of drinking water and irrigation. In particular, it fails to provide for local-level regulation of what is often known as the most local source of water and fails to provide for conservation measures at aquifer level. The 2017 Bill integrates legal developments having taking place since the 1970s, such as the decentralisation reforms kick-started in the 1990s, the recognition of water as a fundamental right and its recognition as a public trust. In doing so, it provides new bases for regulating groundwater as a public resource and to take measures at aquifer level, something that is crucial to address ongoing over-exploitation and falling water tables.

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