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Greening Environmental Rights: Separating Law and Morality in Environmental Public Interest Litigation in Pakistan

January 2008

Citation: ELR 10029

Author: Dominic J. Nardi Jr.

Editor's Summary: Many environmentalists consider active environmental litigation in developing countries to be a positive development. However, in Pakistan, a country that encourages public interest litigation, this system poses serious institutional and legal problems that may hinder the development of an effective national response to environmental challenges. Those litigating for environmental protection in Pakistan may be relying too heavily on the courts to take measures that should be within the jurisdiction of the Pakistan EPA. In this Article, Dominic J. Nardi Jr. warns that judicial activism might lead to conflicts with the executive, or could encourage environmental regulators to spurn responsibility for handling future environmental problems. He recommends that the judiciary relegate public interest cases based on statutes to the country's Environmental Tribunals, since they presumably have the expertise necessary to adjudicate these types of cases. For public interest cases relying on fundamental rights or morality, the Federal Shariat Court may be the best venue for equitable relief.

Dominic J. Nardi Jr. is a law student at Georgetown University Law Center and a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He would like to thank Ahmad M. Siddiqi and Mohammad Khan for reading over an earlier draft and Prof. Armin Rosencranz for his support and mentorship on this Article.

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