Environmental Constitutionalism in the United States and Nigeria: Recognizing Environmental Rights

Theodore Okonkwo


Environmental constitutionalism is a scheme that protects the national and international environment by applying national and global constitutional law. By this, constitution-makers agree to include in their constitutions provisions aimed at environmental protection and sustainability, whereby procedural and substantive rights are written in the constitutions. The courts are in such jurisdictions called upon to enforce and protect such rights. This article addresses constitutionally embedded rights in the national constitutions of the United States of America and Nigeria. It analyzes constitutional environmental provisions in both how their judiciaries respond to such issues. This article looked at the problems associated with environmental constitutionalism in the United States and Nigeria and their connection with environmental rights. The aim is to take a holistic examination of the topic. The methodology adopted for the research is empirical. The primary and secondary sources of material selection were adopted through the use of the law libraries and the internet, books, journals and periodicals to gather information for this article. In conclusion, it was observed and recommended that no matter the similarities shared by the Untied States and Nigeria, the former has a more developed environmental jurisprudence on environmental protection by the courts. This is a truism, notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria’s constitution contains “state environmental duties”. The value of the research is that Nigeria should identify areas to be improved upon in its law and practice of environmental constitutionalism.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijsss.v5i7.2497


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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