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Summary of speech by The Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden: Grotius Lecture – Water for all?

Few things are more fundamental to human life than water. Yet, according to the UN, there is a risk that within thirty years one in four people will live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. With continuing industrialisation and climate change, we now need a principle of law that entitles everyone to a minimum amount of safe water for drinking, sanitation and growing food.

Human rights law provides the obvious framework for achieving this aim, and by tracing recent developments on the national, supranational (e.g. the European Convention on Human Rights) and international level, it becomes clear that the human right to water is an idea whose time has come

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