The report aims to highlight the role and the influence of the human rights protection’s system provided for by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the fight against the environmental crime at the European and national level.
Through an analysis of the ECtHR case-law concerning the infringements of other rights, such as the right to life (Article2) and the right to private and family life (Article8), the reports provides an overview of the ECtHR case-law relating to the respect of the right to a healthy environment. This overview shows the positive obligations incumbent on the Contracting States to criminalise the most serious conducts affecting the environment.
Besides negative obligations arising from the protection of the human rights provided for by the ECHR and imposing a duty on the States of not interfering in the individuals’ enjoyment of their rights, the ECtHR has elaborated the so called “doctrine of positive obligation”, which requires that States actively protect the human rights within their jurisdiction, even through the adoption of preventive and repressive measures against the infringements of human rights perpetrated not only by the State’s action, but also by the private subjects.
The report also focuses on the influence of the ECtHR case-law concerning the environmental matter on the EU legal system; indeed, it is possible to draw a kind of “integrated restrictions” table, built up from the limitations established by the ECtHR jurisprudence (i.e. the principles of necessity and proportionality of the criminal intervention), which can represent specific guidelines for the EU legislator, in the development of the competence in criminal matter provided for by Article 83 TFEU, in order to prevent an excessive use of such a competence.