Environmental Justice in India: The National Green Tribunal and Expert Members

Gill, Gita (2016) Environmental Justice in India: The National Green Tribunal and Expert Members. Transnational Environmental Law Journal, 5 (1). pp. 175-205. ISSN 2047-1025

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S2047102515000278


This article argues that the involvement of technical experts in decision making promotes better environmental results while simultaneously recognizing the uncertainty in science. India’s record as a progressive jurisdiction in environmental matters through its proactive judiciary is internationally recognized. The neoteric National Green Tribunal of India (NGT) – officially described as a ‘specialised body equipped with necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues’ – is a forum which offers greater plurality for environmental justice. The NGT, in exercising wide powers, is staffed by judicial and technical expert members who decide cases in an open forum. The experts are ‘central’, rather than ‘marginal’, to the NGT’s decision-making process.

This article draws on theoretical insights developed by Lorna Schrefler and Peter Haas to analyze the role of scientific experts as decision makers within the NGT. Unprecedented interview access provides data that grants an insight into the internal decision-making processes of the five benches of the NGT. Reported cases, supported by additional comments of bench members, illustrate the wider policy impact of scientific knowledge and its contribution to the NGT’s decision-making process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental decision making, India, National Green Tribunal India, Expert technical members, Knowledge utilization
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
M100 Law by area
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 10:24
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 17:13
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/24929

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