The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal has just released its Advisory Opinion, recommending a worldwide ban on hydraulic fracturing, the extreme oil and gas extraction technique known as  ‘fracking.’ The materials, and infrastructure of fracking inherently and necessarily violate human rights, the court decided in a Special Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change. The rights violated include the rights to life, to water, to full information and participation, and especially the rights of indigenous people, women and children. 

Governments have an affirmative obligation to protect the rights of their citizens, according to internationally recognized human-rights Covenants and Declarations. When governments fail to adequately regulate harmful oil and gas industry practices, they fail to meet their human rights obligations. And when governments fail to take measures to prevent the advance of climate change and its impacts on the rights to life, liberty, and security, they are failing to meet their internationally recognized human-rights obligations. Widespread government failures have created a global “axis of betrayal,” according to the international court, in which governments and fossil-fuel industries collude – at great cost to people and the planet – in human-rights violations to their mutual profit.

The Special Session was conducted for five days in May of 2018. Four Preliminary tribunals had been conducted in the months prior to the Plenary hearings. The Pre-tribunals included rich oral testimony from Australia, the US states of Ohio and Virginia, and other places, supporting documentation, and findings from those Pre-tribunal’s local judges. All materials and reports from those Pre-tribunal hearings, all the Plenary session’s oral testimony and arguments, all Plenary session reports, amicus curiae briefs and full documentation are available, in both video and text formats, on the website for the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change.

The full text of the Opinion is attached. It is also available on the website for the PPT Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change and on the Jurisprudence page of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal website at their headquarters in Rome.

Please distribute this Opinion widely and consider featuring it on your organization’s website and in social media.
Tom Kerns
for the PPT Steering Group
ps  And one more treat today: Kathleen Dean Moore’s reflections, recorded right after the conclusion of the Tribunal’s Plenary Session last May. You can hear, in Miranda Perrone’s interview with Kathleen, her remarks on the crucial importance of taking a human rights approach to climate change and fracking.

Email from Dr Kerns, April 4, 2019


Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy
North Seattle College
Seattle, WA 98103
Online course: Environment and Human Rights


Link to website Environmental Justice ACP MVP Peoples Tribunals:

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