International Environmental Law and Its Applicability in India


Environment has been explained in The Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 as a whole that involves “water, air and earth and the inter-relationship which survives between and within the water, air and land, and human beings, other living beings, plants, micro-organism and capital”

Environmental law is a form of joint phrases that define the system of laws, ordinances, agreements, common law, rules, conventional law that strive to preserve the natural ecosystem which is concerned or affected by the dangerous exercises taken out by human beings.

International environmental legislation is a form of international law involved with preserving the atmosphere, essentially through mutual and multilateral international treaties. International environmental law emerged as a subset of universal law in the mid-twentieth age.

International Environmental Law strives to preserve the ecosystem from contamination and check the depletion of natural sources within the structure of sustainable growth. It is a department of public international law which is a group of laws formed by states for the states for administering with difficulties occurring within the states.

The laws laid down in the international reports determine the components of international conventional law like The Stockholm Declaration 1972, The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985, The Montreal Protocol on Something that Exhaust the Ozone Layer 1987, The Rio Declaration on Environment & Development 1992.

The Sources on Environment

United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, generally identified by the title of The Stockholm Declaration 1972, was the original United Nations organization whose center was on international environmental concerns and hence yielded below the ground for global environmental governance.
The convention accepted upon a statement which included 26 policies, a structure for action project comprising 109 proposals correlating to human foundation, natural source administration, educational and social characters of environment, and contamination restriction patterns.

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 were established to achieve the resolutions which were held at The Stockholm Declaration 1972. Furthermore, The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, and The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 were given to satisfy the promise delivered by India in The Rio Declaration on Environment & Development 1992 to produce laws concerning liability and the payment for the sufferers of contamination and environmental pollutions.

International Environmental Law in India

International Environmental Law has supported in the shaping and evolution of Indian Environment Law. The Indian courts have explicitly identified environmental security as a human freedom. Article 48A reveals that the State must preserve and enhance the atmosphere and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the nation. Article 51A (g) reveals that it shall be the obligation of every inhabitant of the nation to preserve and develop the natural environment including the forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have empathy for living beings. Articles 14, 19(1) (g) and 21 of The Indian Constitution also perform an essential part in the security of the atmosphere. The Indian courts have further included the Polluter Pays Principle and the Precautionary Principle in the domestic law.

Precautionary Principle– The precautionary Principle authenticates that a lack/deficiency of experimental data i.e. data that restricts the impact of exercises on the nature of the atmosphere, shall not be the basis to delay cost-effective means to stop the environment from degeneration. In contrast, cost-effective projects need to be organized to put up with the preservation of natural sources.

Polluter Pays Principle– The polluter pays principle verifies that the economic damages for correcting the loss generated to the atmosphere by pollution should rest with the projects which produce the pollution. The objective of this principle is to overpower the polluters to sustain the true expenses of their pollution. It is regarded that the polluter pays principle emerged out of the law of ‘absolute liability’.

Assistance of the Public in Environmental Decision Making

One of the essential systems that exercise birth from the worldwide environmental law is the assistance of the public in environmental choice production. For creating the environment well the assistance of the public in producing choices operates prominent influence. Through public assistance, the requirements of the present and the coming ages can be obtained, and thus it aids in the preservation of the atmosphere.

Public support helps the state in achieving its responsibilities towards the atmosphere as whenever any subject associated to the environment occurs, the aspects from all the parties accompanying with the pros and cons are described and considered, thus producing an equilibrium among expansion and environmental standards which manages to quality choice-making by the state.

In many moments, the Supreme Court and the High Courts of India have requested the necessary implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and encouraged the support of the public in environmental judgment production.


In India, the interest for environmental security has been elevated to the rank of fundamental law of the land as it is the fundamental human right of all the individuals to exist in a pollution-free atmosphere. Though India has a healthy world market, it allows trouble in holding its regional, state, and national pollution levels. Despite multiple legislations, the present status of the atmosphere is still dark. Also, skills vested with the Pollution Control Boards are not sufficient to check and constrain pollution. It is the long term now that the state and the public understand the harm effected to the environment.

India has confirmed various international agreements and hence it led to the reassurance of the court by international environmental legislation. The combination of global environmental law with domestic law has transpired to some level. Though the combination is still working on, it has commenced to the positive association of global environmental law into India’s environmental law. Although India has acknowledged many multilateral agreements, much is still to be accomplished in its implementation.

With the growing population in India, we have to preserve the flora and fauna i.e. the atmosphere, and also have to face the energy necessities of the population following the law of sustainable growth so that the upcoming generations obtain all the advantages which the modern and past generations have violated.

Author: Nishtha Kheria,
Amity Law School, Amity University Noida 4th Year 7th semester / Student

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