BRICS Law Journal

Advanced search
Vol 8, No 2 (2021)
View or download the full issue PDF


10-40 1271

The Covid-19 narrative spotlights the necessity to conserve biological diversity (biodiversity) including ecosystems and wildlife. Biodiversity problems are global, and associated governance issues range beyond geographical and spatial boundaries. The globalisation and internationalisation of biodiversity concerns have resulted in the emergence of biodiversity legal frameworks designed to conserve and sustainably use our planet’s biological resources. As an “organic and evolving discipline,” biodiversity laws are increasingly important and affect the Earth’s natural systems that support human life. The article analyses the judicial space that makes, interprets and enforces laws that conserve and support the sustainable use of biodiversity. The proactive, creative judiciary, acting as amicus environment, has produced a major shift in the Indian environmental landscape. The use of public interest litigation (PIL) in both environmental and biodiversity matters is welcomed by the senior judiciary (Supreme Court and High Courts) and also by the specialised environmental tribunal, National Green Tribunal (NGT). The terminological reach of the popular descriptive words, environment, nature and ecology, on occasions including biodiversity, introduced matters litigated in the courts and tribunal. The combination of legal, scientific, and technical expertise in the three judicial fora recognize and consider conservation and protection of biodiversity as an inextricable part of life. The article follows the chronological path of biodiversity litigation, i.e. pre 1992–2002; then 2002–2010 and finally 2010–2020 and examines significant aspects of the three decades of biodiversity litigation.

41-65 686

This article examines the evolution and potential of the water agenda of BRICS. The members of this international association of major countries of South America, Eurasia, Asia and Africa are rich in water resources and population. The development of water resources extends beyond their borders to projects in other countries through the activities of a major development institution, the New Development Bank of BRICS. Such conditions suggest some anticipation of a global and comprehensive view on the part of BRICS on the issues relating to water resources. However, the hypothesis of this article is opposite: despite the unique potential of the BRICS water strategy, it remains non-specific, focused on the lower common denominators for the member countries such as cleanliness, sanitation and water management. To account for this, the authors take the position that the bureaucratic logic of basic common interest downgrades strategic vision. This is reflected in the growing gap between the multifaceted nature of the issues related to water resources in the world and the narrowly specialized approach of BRICS association which perceives water de facto without its resource and global function. To study this, the authors analyze the water portfolios of the BRICS member countries and compare the national water agendas based on an analysis of policy documents. They then systematize water initiatives under the auspices of the BRICS and, finally, calculate virtual water flows and their structure between the BRICS countries using agricultural products trade as an example. The conducted analysis allows the authors to identify a wide gap between the current and potential water agenda of the BRICS. The authors then propose a number of initiatives that can create added value for the BRICS as an association both for its member countries and for developing countries facing water resource challenges. The authors assert that such a new approach, based on a profound understanding of the resource function of water as a commodity with global value, has all the potential to be implemented by BRICS.

66-88 819

With over 100 million people without access to sewage collection and treatment and over 35 million lacking access to piped drinking water, the water and sanitation services (WSS) sector in Brazil ranks last among all the infrastructure sectors. Despite previous efforts to reach universal coverage, the gap remains wide. In order to reduce this gap, the Brazilian Parliament approved the reform of the WSS sector in July 2020. This paper examines the state of the water and sanitation services in Brazil before 2020 as well as the potential effects of the recently approved reform. It demonstrates that the sector’s primary issues are the fragmented institutional arrangements and regulations, the low levels of investments by the public sector, including those made by State-owned water companies, and the barriers to entry for the private sector. The paper also discusses the new provisions included in the reform designed to remedy those issues. The authors believe that the reform has the potential to promote significant changes in the structure of the WSS towards providing a universal and equitable service in Brazil, but at a slower pace than the reformers anticipated.

89-119 600

Considering the current ecological situation in the modern world, the quality of life depends not so much on a stable energy supply as on an environmentally friendly way of producing and consuming energy, which has turned social and research attention to the opportunities of renewable energy systems (RES). In spite of the vital necessity of transitioning to environmentally friendly energy production, the implementation and development of renewable energy technologies face a range of barriers: socio-cultural, technological, economic, institutional and environmental. To overcome these barriers, the authors of this article use the systems approach to gain deeper understanding of RES interconnection and interdependence. They apply STEEP analysis for classification and qualitative analysis of RES development barriers in Russia. The article proposes the analytical methodology, which reveals system specifications of the national RES development barriers and predicts the chain reaction of overcoming particular barriers. Using this methodology, the authors identify the main socio-cultural roots of RES development barriers in Russia: state control of the development of the energy sector, the political stake in hydrocarbons and the lack of consistent policies on RES development. The authors’ suggested analysis methodology is appropriate for identifying the root problems in energy socio-economic systems and for effective decision-making process in the energy sector.

120-151 596

Labour and environmental rights in South Africa both originated in reaction to particular and important societal problems. Labour law has traditionally been concerned with inequalities of bargaining powers, whilst environmental law was historically concerned with protection of the biophysical environment. At first glance the two rights therefore appear to be unrelated. In view of arguments that fundamental human rights cannot be achieved in isolation. This article explores the potential relationship between the two rights. It begins by providing an overview of the intersection between labour and environmentalists during the struggle against Apartheid as a basis for identifying the priorities of both sectors in advocating for the two rights and how the divide between the two narrowed. That overview provides a backdrop for the discussion which follows regarding how the intersection between the rights has played out both within the traditional and expanded conceptualisations of labour law. The study finds that the two rights do have a dependence and that the environmental arena has provided the basis for the continuation of the fight to ensure social justice for both the traditional and extended reconceptualized approach to labour law.

152-167 633

This article examines the specifics of legal regulation of sustainable development in China and Russia. This topic is exceptionally relevant today since legal regulation of this area should create effective frameworks for the relationship between people and nature. The authors draw attention to the fact that sustainable development is better implemented when it is supported both by international standards and, necessarily, by national laws. The approaches then that China and Russia, both member countries of the BRICS bloc, are taking in implementing sustainable development are of importance, and thus described and contrasted in this study. To do so, the authors apply the comparative legal analysis, which makes it possible to distinguish both the advantages of international and national systems and the disadvantages. Based on their methodology, the authors formulate possible recommendations for each nation.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2409-9058 (Print)
ISSN 2412-2343 (Online)