There is a problem that environmental problems are extensive and victims cannot be identified. In particular, it is difficult to prove a causal relationship if basic rights are violated due to large-scale environmental damage such as abnormal weather conditions. In addition, since the precedent is rare, it is difficult to obtain relief from basic rights. However, as the resolution of the problem of abnormal climate is becoming more important internationally, the necessity of discussing the environmental damage problem in Korea is also increasing.
The Kyoto Protocol, to which Korea was a member, ended on December 31, 2020. And Korea has come to a situation where it has to comply with the Paris Agreement, which urges countries around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and participate in climate change. The problem is that in the Paris Agreement, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, Korea is also obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
European countries have been thinking about climate problems in the early days, and further from the policy side, the legal interpretation is continuing. In some European countries, lawsuits for infringement of basic rights due to abnormal climate are being filed, and countries such as Germany, New Zealand, and the Netherlands are gradually recognizing the national environmental protection obligation. In particular, the recent ruling of the Berlin Administrative Court in Germany is noteworthy.
In Korea, there have not been many cases of public legal litigation regarding the violation of fundamental rights due to the environment. However, unlike other countries, since environmental rights are guaranteed as fundamental rights under the Constitution, there is a basis for remedies if environmental rights are violated through the constitutional complaint adjudication system. In fact, the cases that were brought to the Constitutional Court, the installation of safety wire mesh on the windows of the bathroom in a single living room, and the absence of noise regulation standards due to the use of loudspeakers in public office elections are precedents that actively stipulated the protection of environmental rights and the exclusion of violations. Of course, the incident is a specific damage situation with a clear causal relationship compared to the large-scale damage caused by climate. However, considering the flow of precedents of the Constitutional Court, which recognizes the violation of environmental rights and judges the state's obligation to protect environmental rights, the judicial process for climate litigation and other large-scale environmental damage is considered. It can be seen that the basis for discussion has been prepared.
Therefore, by analyzing existing discussions and overseas cases, I would like to discuss legal remedies for violations of environmental rights in Korea.