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12 The Right to Development: Can States be Held Responsible?

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Chapter Summary

In the 2010 case of Endorois Welfare Council v. Kenya, a state was held responsible for violating the right to development (RTD). The African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights approached the question of responsibility as a "two-pronged test": whether the community concerned 'participated effectively' in the process, and whether they 'benefited' from the project. It is submitted that there are two distinct obstacles to holding states responsible for violations of the RTD: lack of agreement on the scope and content of obligations under the RTD; and inadequacy of the traditional framework of state responsibility to deal with multiple responsible states. The research endeavours to formulate adjustments that would make the current legal framework more suitable for the purpose of holding states accountable for violations of the RTD. In doing so, the research will draw on and find inspiration in existing trends in human rights law and environmental law.

Keywords: African Commission; environmental law; human rights law; Kenya; right to development (RTD)



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