Energy as a human right in armed conflict : a question of universal need, survival, and human dignity
Host item entries:
Brooklyn journal of international law, Vol. 37, no. 2, 2012, p. 579-622
Jenny Sin-hang Ngai
This article sets out to examine the individual’s entitlement to access modern energy services in one of the most complex and pervasive long-lasting problems facing human existence today: armed conflict. In exploring the role of energy in realizing basic human needs, this article will show how energy is at the center of humansurvival and development. A substantial part of the discussion will be dedicated to the merits of recognizing access to energy as a human right and its implications on the international obligations of States. This analysis will examine the existing norms concerning energy under international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as emerging international practice in support of a case for energy rights. It will then attempt to identify the content of the right and the legal obligations it entails. Finally, concluding remarks will be delivered on the status of the right to energy as a universal human right, its applicability in armed conflict, future challenges, and recommendations for the way forward.