Abilities of European Court of Human Rights to protect environment from nuclear accidents

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Public International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran


The aim of this study was to assess the abilities of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to adjudicate upon cases concerning violations to environment upraised from nuclear accidents. This was non-causal research, based on qualitative methods. With respect to information gathering, the document and library research process were employed, then qualitative method was applied to analyse the information, by which international rules governing the issue and related case law of ECtHR was studied, assessed and analysed. Findings indicated that ECtHR has accepted the environment rights by broad interpretation of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, in the Court’s precedent, applications with no actual victim were not considered as violation in the convention. The latest approach taken by ECtHR, taking prevention principle into account, could improve its abilities to protect potential victims of violations caused by nuclear accidents due to environmental rights. In conclusion, despite some barriers against the complaint processes in the Court, new approach was recognised as a more protective one.


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