International Environmental Law
International Environmental Law
Contents of International Environmental Law
Contents of this subject matter include:
- Essential principles of environmental law including precautionary principle, sustainable development, conservation of biological diversity
- Essential sources and conceptual framework of international environmental law
- Significant influences on international environmental law ranging from diversity, cultural and gender values and economic imperatives fostered by concerns such as free trade, the rights of developing nations and environmental justice.
- Selected case studies from a range of topics to be selected each semester including but not limited to Climate Change, Trade and the Environment, Protection of the Oceans and Seas, Ship Sourced Pollution, Trade in Endangered Species, Biodiversity Conservation Invasive Species, the Antarctic, Human Rights and Armed Conflict
- The WTO – Non-Discrimination and the Exceptions: Most Favored Nation, National Treatment Principle, Trade Remedies, Dumping and Subsidies
- The International Carriage of Goods
- Financing International Trade: the methods of financing an international transaction; letters of credit and the UCP Rules; the duties of banks in relation to documents; the doctrine of strict compliance and fraud
- The international element in international sales contracts – Choice of forum: forum non convenience in the UK and Australia, an analysis of the case law
- The international element in international sales contracts – Choice of law: an analysis of the case law
- International Sale of Goods under the Vienna Convention
International Environmental Law
Embracing mainstream international law, this section on international environmental law explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.
Sources of International Environmental Law
In its 20 February 1969 decision on the North Sea Continental Shelf cases, the International Court of Justice, in relation to the possibility of the development of customary International Environmental Law, made the following judgment (para. 74):
“Although the passage of only a short period of time is not necessarily, or of itself, a bar to the formation of a new rule of customary international law on the basis of what was originally a purely conventional rule, an indispensable requirement would be that within the period in question, short though it might be, State practice, including that of States whose interests are specially affected, should have been both extensive and virtually uniform in the sense of the provision invoked; and should moreover have occurred in such a way as to show a general recognition that a rule of law or legal obligation is involved.”
International Environmental Agreements
In 1949, the newly formed International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations requested 59 states to give consideration to the issue of the law of treaties. After 17 reports and 292 meetings on the subject, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) was adopted by the Vienna Conference on May 23, 1969 (Villiger 1985). Article 2, para. 1(a) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties defines a treaty as “an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.”
The same definition holds for an International Environmental Agreement.
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