Current view of Environmental Justice in Colombia

The talk, organized by the Externado Environmental Law Department, was offered by Jorge Iván Hurtado, a professor at our House of Studies and Law Ph.D. candidate at our University.

According to the speaker, currently, the dynamism that in “olden days” citizens’ participation had on environmental management, is being transferred to the Court. However, the judge alone cannot bear the weight and responsibility for the permissiveness or laxity of the State in environmental issues. “This makes higher administration empowerment imperative, to ensure the full exercise of rights, as well as compliance with their roles and responsibilities to, precisely, avoid the judicial authority.”

The Doctoral candidate spoke about the inclusion of the environment in the 1991 Constitution and how, from that moment, it became the responsibility of the State and declared as a collective right which all citizens enjoy. When mentioning the challenges Environmental Law in Colombia faces today, the speaker pointed out how now it is easier for citizens to file environmental complaints and access public information; however, the process is still complicated, as not much is known on how to proceed with a judicial intervention or the scenarios available to citizens.

The meeting ended with a debate on some actual cases in Colombia, and questions from attendees.