Webinar Report: Environment Protection and the Indian legal system
Title of the Webinar: Environment Protection and the Indian Legal System
Hosted by: Niti Manthan Centre for Environmental Law, Research and Action (CELRA)
Date: 6th September 2020
Objectives of the event:
- To understand Environmental Laws and Legislations
- The impact of the constitution on environment legislations
- The relationship between environment and development
- The Public Trust Doctrine
Speaker profile: Ms Vidya Ann Jacob, an Assistant Professor at the School of Law, Christ. She was awarded the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Doctoral Fellowship during the period 2019-20 at Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland Oregon. Her research focused on how the USA has adopted different climate resilience mechanisms to address climate challenges.
The webinar was scheduled to be held on Sunday, 6th September 2020 4 PM onwards and was attended by 25 participants. The Webinar was structured into 2 halves the first being a 40-45 minutes lecture that was to be delivered by Ms Vidya Ann Jacob. The remaining 15 minutes were dedicated to a Question and Answer session to answer the questions posed by the interns of Niti Manthan.
Ms Vidya Ann Jacob commenced her speech by introducing the topic and dividing it into various sub-topics. She introduced us to the environmental legislations in India and how the 42nd Constitutional Amendment brought about a significant change in that regard. She emphasized on the fact that The Environment (Protection) Act, 1981, was the umbrella legislation in India, and all other legislations derive their validity from the same. She gave valuable insights regarding the constitutional provisions concerning the environment and the numerous entries in the three lists in the 7th schedule. She further expressed her concern over the issues that stem from India’s Federal structure as it leads to tension between the state and the central governments regarding the entries concerning the environment. This was further highlighted by explaining certain case laws. She further talked about the significance of Article 21 of the Constitution in relation to the environment and the inclusion of Right to Environment within the meaning of Right to Life as it isn’t expressly described as a separate right. She concluded her lecture by talking about the Public Trust doctrine and certain principles to ensure sustainable development and highlighted the jurisprudence present about the same.
The Question and Answer session was very productive as the interns, as well as the core committee members, asked very relevant and thought-provoking questions and Ms Vidya answered the questions passionately and provided valuable insights.
Conclusively, the session was a very engaging and enriching experience involving the nuances of Environmental law. It provided a fresh perspective for the new interns of Niti Manthan who attended the session and familiarized them with the basics of Environmental law. Ms Vidya was articulate and extremely knowledgeable in the field. In all the webinar was a grand success and very encouraging.
Recording of the webinar can now be accessed at the Niti Manthan's Youtube Page -
[The author of this report, Ms Akshita Saxena is a student at National Law University, Jodhpur and a research intern with Niti Manthan CELRA in their skill development initiative under Niti Manthan Phase 3 of Summer School 2020]