top of page
  • Robert Hinkley

European Court of Human Rights' Game Changing Decision

Here’s a link to my radio appearance yesterday on community radio in Geelong.  I discuss (beginning at 11:37 and ending at 25:11) the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights Court (ECHR) in Strasbourg where Switzerland was:

  1. held responsible for not doing enough to meet its international commitments to stopping global warming and climate change, and 

  2. ordered to rectify the situation, which the court characterized as a violation of human rights.


The ECHR is a body of the 46 member states European Council (comprised of the 27 member states of the European Union and 19 other countries).  The decision was 16 to one and should have far ranging impact not just in Europe, but elsewhere.   


Importantly, the Court did not consider the effects of its decision on the economy thus giving human rights precedence to economic considerations.  In effect, it said that Switzerland (and all of the Council’s member states) must meet their climate and human rights obligations regardless of the effect on the economy.  


This may seem odd after four decades or more of the world protecting the economy above all else but, when you think about it, it makes sense.  The environment and human rights are just two things which should be protected from severe harm regardless of the effects on the economy.  Another is the public health and safety. 


My Code for Corporate Citizenship follows this principle.  We expect companies to make money, but they should never do so at the expense of severe damage to the environment or human rights.  


2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page