Considering the value of adequate and meaningful public access to environmental information as discussed earlier in this book, the issue is a core one in international environmental law. Given this premise, the aim of this chapter is critically to evaluate what may generally be considered international best practice in terms of law and practice on public access to environmental information that could effectively ensure adequate access in this regard. The analysis in this chapter will generally clarify and further the understanding
of the development of this area of procedural environmental rights, as well as provide a reasonable and useful comparative basis on which to analyse and recommend improvements to Nigerian law and practice on access to environmental information in the subsequent chapter. As alluded to in Chapter 1, the framing of the international best practice principles in this chapter will have relevant provisions of the Aarhus Convention as its central theme, and efforts will be made to demonstrate how many of the Convention’s provisions overlap, emphasise or amplify existing provisions of some other international regimes to which Nigeria is directly committed. Accordingly, the analysis below will cover four main areas: the scope of a
regime on access to environmental information; the actual public access right to that information, in its passive and active contexts; the exemptions and override to the access rights; and the provisions for enforcing the access rights.