ENFORCEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN NIGERIA

ENFORCEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This research work examined the enforceability of human rights norms in environmental protection. And critically reviews the functionality of human rights law in environmental protection and how it can be made to drive enforceability in order to reduce the impact of environmental stressors.  The work treats the legal literature and theory of Environmental law and Human rights –and  factors of enforcement of human rights law in Nigeria .It establishes that several theories have emerged, and a plethora of them have considered environmental human rights to be those rights that are within the realm of non- derogablerights. Making reference to the impact of international law stressors such as sovereignty, requirement of municipal ratification with particular reference to section 12 of 1999 Constitution of  the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the conservative and narrow interpretations of human rights law provisions that stress the enforceability of human rights norms in environmental protection, the paper surveys and maintains a well- balanced assessment of specific instruments such as, in the global setting, the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development (1986), the United Nations Charter (1945)”, among others; and in the regional setting, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (1981) as domesticated in Nigeria by Cap.10 LFN 1983 and subsequently by Cap A9 LFN 2004 among others, and significantly, the Fundamental Rights(Enforcement Procedure) Rules (2009) and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria  as amended, including their policy consciousness, functionality and limitations. The key question that needs an answer is whether and to what extent Nigerian law guarantees applicability of human rights norms in environmental protection? In an attempt to answer this question, we examined the extent to which domestic laws reflect the aspirations of global environmental norms and means by which they are structured. The problem is settled with an answer to a fundamental question. First, to what level of enforceability are the policies emanating from these non- derogable laws, directly and practically implemented and applicable in Nigeria? This study therefore discovers that even with the applicability of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights amongst other associated laws which have been enhanced by the provisions of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules (2009), compliance to, and enforcement of environmental rights in Nigeria remains challenging.