The Malta Independent 23 May 2024, Thursday
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PN presents bill to include environment as a fundamental right for the individual

Monday, 5 June 2023, 16:59 Last update: about 13 months ago

The PN on Monday presented a bill to include the Environment as one of the fundamental rights of the individual in Malta, deeming it “the strongest legislation in favour of the environment ever proposed in our country.”

During a press conference addressed by the PN MPs Darren Carabott, Stanley Zammit and Janice Chetcuti, it was announced that after a week of public consultation initiated by the PN, the party is proposing to introduce public scrutiny of environmental decisions, while enhancing public participation in such matters.

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The PN said that following consultations made with legal experts, the bill was presented in Parliament with the support of the Nationalist Parliamentary Group.

The bill would introduce the fundamental right of the individual; “All individuals in Malta have the right to live in a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.”

The PN also included important legal amendments to the draft law, including the expansion of the definition of the word “environment,” to include air, water, land, ecosystems, and all elements that form part of it, encompassing all natural and physical resources that sustain human life.

Additionally, the PN is proposing that the term ‘Environment’ will now also encompass social conditions, aesthetic coherence, and cultural attributes.

There will also no longer be a need to show personal interest to open a constitutional case on the environment in Maltese courts. This will allow for a more robust public scrutiny by citizens and NGOs, the PN said.

For the first time, legal enforcement will be granted in cases of environmental damage if the court finds or is likely to find such harm.

The PN said that because this is a constitutional amendment, the Nationalist Party calls on government representatives to vote unanimously in favour of this amendment in the House of Representatives.

The amendment requires at least a two-thirds majority to be approved and enacted.

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