Legal activism for ensuring environmental justice

Md Saiful Karim*, Okechukwu Benjamin Vincents, Mia Mahmudur Rahim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews some of the roles environmental lawyers have played in ensuring environmental justice in Bangladesh. It leans on law and social movement theories to explicate the choice (and ensuing success) of litigation as a movement strategy in Bangladesh. The activists successfully moved the courts to read the right to a decent environment into the fundamental right to life, and this has had the far-reaching effect of constituting a basis for standing for the activists and other civil society organisations. The activists have also sought to introduce emerging international law principles into the jurisprudence of the courts. These achievements notwithstanding, the paper notes that litigation is not a sustainable way to institute enduring environmental protection in any jurisdiction and recommends the utilisation of the reputation and recognition gained through litigation to deploy or encourage more sustainable strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Bangladesh
  • Environmental legal activism
  • Law and social movements
  • Locus standi
  • PIL
  • Right to a decent environment


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