International Environmental Law

International Legal Research

Information about International Environmental Law in free legal resources:

Treaties & Agreements

International Organizations

Jurisprudence $ Commentary

European Union

IP Law

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
  • INCOTERMS
  • 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.

Resources

Further Reading

  • The entry “environmental law, international” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press
  • Abi-Saab, G. (1999) Fragmentation or Unification: Some Concluding Remarks. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 31, 919–33.
  • Andresen, S., and Ostreng, W. (eds.) (1989) International Resource Management: The Role of Science and Politics. London: Belhaven Press.
  • Atapattu, S.A. (2007) Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
  • Barnett, J. (2001) Environmental Security and US Foreign Policy: A Critical Examination. In P.G. Harris (ed.) The Environment, International Relations, and US Foreign Policy. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Barrett, S. (2000) Political Economy of the Kyoto Protocol. In D. Helm (ed.) Environmental Policy: Objectives, Instruments, and Implementation. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 111–41.
  • Birnie, P. (1988) The Role of International Law in Solving Certain Environmental Conflicts. In J.E. Carroll (ed.) International Environmental Diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Black, J., Levi, M.D., and Meza, D. d. (1993) Creating a Good Atmosphere: Minimum Participation for Tackling the Greenhouse Effect. Economica 60, 281–93. Quoted from Schmidt 2000:101 and Schmidt 2001:220.
  • Bodansky, D. (2006) Does One Need to Be an International Lawyer to be an International Environmental Lawyer? In L.B. de Chazournes et al. (eds.) International Environmental Law at the Beginning of the 21st Century. American Society of International Law. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: American Society of International Law.
  • A concise encyclopedia of the United Nations (including International Environmental Law, H Volger, KA Annan -2010)
  • International Law: A Dictionary (including International Environmental Law, Boczek, Boleslaw Adam -2005)
  • Boehmer-Christiansen, S. (1989) The Role of Science in the International Regulation of Pollution. In S. Andresen and W. Ostreng (eds.) International Resource Management: The Role of Science and Politics. London: Belhaven Press.
  • Botteon, M., and Carraro, C. (1998) Strategies for Environmental Negotiations: Issue-linkage with Heterogeneous Countries. In N. Hanley and H. Folmer (eds.) Game Theory and the Environment. Northampton: Edward Elgar.
  • Brownlie, I. (1990) Principles of Public International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Quoted from Slomanson 1995:12.
  • Caldwell, L.K. (1988) Beyond Environmental Diplomacy: The Changing Institutional Structure of International Cooperation. In J.E. Carroll (ed.) International Environmental Diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Carraro, C. (ed.) (1997) International Environmental Agreements: Strategic Policy Issues. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Carraro, C. (1999b) The Structure of International Environmental Agreements. In C. Carraro (ed.) International Environmental Agreements on Climate Change. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Chasek, P.S. (2001) Earth Negotiations: Analyzing Thirty Years of Environmental Diplomacy. New York: United Nations University Press.
  • Chayes, A., and Chayes, A.H. (1995) The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Churchill, R. (1996) The Contribution of Existing Agreements for the Conservation of Terrestrial Species and Habitats to the Maintenance of Biodiversity. In M. Bowman and C. Redgwell (eds.) International Law and the Conservation of Biological Diversity. Boston: Kluwer Law International.
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  • Dietz, T., and Kalof, L. (1992) Environmentalism among Nation-States. Social Indicators Research 26, 353–66.
  • Donnelly, J. (1986) International Human Rights: A Regime Analysis. International Organization 40 (3), 599–642. Also quoted from Vogler 1995:162.
  • Downs, G.W. (1998) Enforcement and the Evolution of Cooperation. Michigan Journal of International Law 19, 319–44.
  • Dupont, C. (1994) Domestic Politics and International Negotiations: A Sequential Bargaining Model. In P. Allan and C. Schmidt (eds.) Game Theory and International Relations: Preferences, Information and Empirical Evidence. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Quoted from Helm 2000:123.
  • Elian, G. (1979) The Principle of Sovereignty over Natural Resources. Alphen aan den Rijn: Sijthoff and Noordhoff.
  • Felice, W.F. (1996) Taking Suffering Seriously: The Importance of Collective Human Rights. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Folmer, H., Hanley, N., and Mibfeldt, F. (1998) Game-Theoretic Modeling of Environmental and Resource Problems: An Introduction. In N. Hanley and H. Folmer (eds.) Game Theory and the Environment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Fredriksson, P.G., and Gaston, N. (2000) Ratification of the 1992 Climate Change Convention: What Determines Legislative Delay? Public Choice 104, 345–68.
  • General Accounting Office (GAO) (1992) International Environment: Strengthening the Implementation of Environmental Agreements. Washington, DC: The Office Distributor.
  • Granger, C.L. (2007) The Role of International Tribunals in Natural Resource Disputes in Latin America. Ecology Law Quarterly 34, 1297–347.
  • Grubb, M., Koch, M., Thomson, K., Munson, A., and Sullivan, F. (1993) The Earth Summit Agreements: A Guide and Assessment. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
  • Gundling, L. (1991) Protection of the Environment by International Law: Air Pollution. In W. Lang, H. Neuhold, and K. Zemanek (eds.) Environmental Protection and International Law. London: Graham and Trotman.
  • Haas, P.M. (1990) Saving the Mediterranean: The Politics of International Environmental Cooperation. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Haas, P.M. (1993) Epistemic Communities and the Dynamics of International Environmental Co-operation. In V. Rittberger and P. Mayer (eds.) Regime Theory and International Relations. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Handl, G. (1991) Environmental Security and Global Change: The Challenges to International Law. In W. Lang, H. Neuhold, and K. Zemanek (eds.) Environmental Protection and International Law. Boston: Graham and Trotman.
  • Harvard Law Review (1992) Trends in International Environmental Law. Chicago: American Bar Association.
  • Helm, D. (ed.) (2000) Environmental Policy: Objectives, Instruments and Implementation. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Homer-Dixon, T. (1991) On The Threshold: Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict. International Security 16 (2), 76–116.
  • ILC (1963) Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its Fifteenth Session, May 6–July 12 1963. ILC Report, A/5509 (A/18/9), 1963, ch. III, paras. 18–50. Also available at www.un.org.
  • Iriye, A. (2002) Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Kaczorowska, A. (1995) International Trade Conventions and Their Effectiveness: Present and Future. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.
  • Keohane, R.O. (1984) After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Kingsbury, B. (1999) Foreword: Is the Proliferation of International Courts and Tribunals a Systemic Problem? New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 31, 679–96.
  • Kiss, A., and Shelton, D. (1991) International Environmental Law. New York: Transnational Publishers.
  • Krasner, S.D. (1982) Regimes and the Limits of Realism: Regimes as Autonomous Variables. International Organization 36, 497–510.
  • Kwiatkowska, B. (2003) The Southern Bluefin Tuna Arbitral Tribunal Did Get It Right: A Commentary and Reply to the Article by David A. Colson and Dr. Peggy Hoyle. Ocean Development and International Law 34, 369–95.
  • Laws, D. (1990) The Antarctic Minerals Regime Negotiations. In L.E. Susskind et al. (eds.) International Environmental Treaty-Making. Cambridge: Harvard Law School.
  • Levy, M.A., and Young, O.R. (1994) The Effectiveness of International Regimes. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of International Studies Association, Washington, DC.
  • Lundstedt, S.V. (1989) Conceptions of the Trade Negotiation Process. In F. Mautner-Markhof (ed.) Processes of International Negotiations. San Francisco: Westview Press.
  • Malanczuk, P. (ed.) (1997) Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law. New York: Routledge.
  • Mautner-Markhof, F. (ed.) (1989) Processes of International Negotiations. San Francisco: Westview Press.
  • McMahon, V. (1993) Environmental Nongovernmental Organizations at Intergovernmental Negotiations. In L.E. Susskind, W.R. Moomaw, and A. Najam (eds.) Papers on International Environmental Negotiation, Volume III. Cambridge: Harvard Law School.
  • Murdoch, J.C., Sandler, T., and Sargent, K. (1997) Voluntary Cutbacks and Pretreaty Behavior: The Helsinki Protocol and Sulfur Emissions. Public Finance Review 25, 139–62.
  • Nayar, J.R., and Ong, D.M. (1996) Developing Countries, Development and the Conservation of Biological Diversity. In M. Bowman and C. Redgwell (eds.) International Law and the Conservation of Biological Diversity. Boston: Kluwer Law International.
  • Neumayer, E. (2002b) Does Trade Openness Promote Multilateral Environmental Cooperation? World Economy 25, 815–35.
  • Palmer, G. (1996) New Ways to Make International Environmental Law. In R.N. Wells, Jr. (ed.) Law, Values, and the Environment: A Reader and Selective Bibliography. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press.
  • Peterson, M.J. (1997) International Organizations and the Implementation of Environmental Regimes. In O.R. Young (ed.) Global Governance: Drawing Insights from the Environmental Experience. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Recchia, S.P. (2002) International Environmental Treaty Engagement in 19 Democracies. Policy Studies Journal 30, 470–94.
  • Robb, C.A.R. (ed.) (2001) International Environmental Law Reports, Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rojas, M., and Thomas, C. (1992) The Convention on Biological Diversity: Negotiating a Global Regime. In L.E. Susskind et al. (eds.) International Environmental Treaty Making. Cambridge: Harvard Law School.
  • Sand, P.H. (ed.) (1992a) The Effectiveness of International Environmental Agreements: A Survey of Existing International Instruments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sands, P. (1995) International Law in the Field of Sustainable Development: Emerging Legal Principles. In W. Lang (ed.) Sustainable Development and International Law. London: Graham & Trotman. Quoted from Lang 1999:163.
  • Sands, P. (1999a) International Courts and the Application of the Concept of “Sustainable Development.” In A.V. Bogdandy and R. Wolfrum (eds.) Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, Volume 3. Heidelberg: Max Planck Institute.
  • Sands, P. (2007) Litigating Environmental Disputes: Courts, Tribunals and the Progressive Development of International Environmental Law. Environmental Policy and Law 37, 66–97.
  • Schmidt, C. (2001) Incentives for International Environmental Cooperation: Theoretical Models and Economic Instruments. In G.G. Schulze and H.W. Ursprung (eds.) International Environmental Economics: A Survey of the Issues. New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 209–40.
  • Seelarbokus, C. (2005b) The Influence of State and Treaty Characteristics on Participation in International Environmental Agreements (IEAs). Atlanta: Georgia State University, Department of Political Science. UMI. Proquest dissertation and theses.
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  • Susskind, L. (1994) Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Szasz, P. (1992) International Norm-Making. In E. Brown-Weiss (ed.) Environmental Change and International Law: New Challenges and Dimensions. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, pp. 340–84.
  • Treves, T. (1999) Conflicts between the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 31, 809–21.
  • Underdal, A. (1998) Leadership in International Environmental Negotiations: Designing Feasible Solutions. In A. Underdal (ed.) The Politics of International Environmental Management. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  • UNEP/CMS Secretariat (March 24, 1997) Review of Article IV: Agreements Concluded or Under Development. Report presented at the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Geneva, April 10–16, 1997. UNEP/CMS/Conf. 5.9.
  • Victor, D.G., Greene, O., Lanchbery, J., di Primio, J.C., and Korula, A. (1994) Review Mechanisms in the Effective Implementation of International Environmental Agreements. Laxenburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  • Vig, N.J. (1999) Introduction: Governing the International Environment. In N.J. Vig and R.S. Axelrod (eds.) The Global Environment: Institutions, Law and Policy. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
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  • Young, O.R. (1989) Science and Social Institutions: Lessons for International Resource Regimes. In S. Andresen and W. Ostreng (eds.) International Resource Management: The Role of Science and Politics. London: Belhaven Press.
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  • Young, O.R., and Levy, M.A. (1999) The Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes. In O.R. Young (ed.) The Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes: Causal Connections and Behavioral Mechanisms. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

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