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International Law

International Law (1st edn)

Vaughan Lowe
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date: 15 June 2024

7. The Global Environmentlocked

7. The Global Environmentlocked

  • Vaughan LoweVaughan LoweQC Chichele Professor of Public International Law, and a Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford


Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter discusses the development of international environmental law. It first considers the Behring Sea Fur Seal arbitration in 1893, as early stirrings of the subject. It then turns to developments after 1945, including the Stockholm Declaration 1972; and the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that resulted in two documents: the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which sets out principles designed to reconcile environmental and developmental needs, and Agenda 21, which included proposals on ways to tackle ‘the delicate balance between environmental and developmental concerns’ in the twenty-first century. Next the chapter discusses techniques employed to achieve the aims of international agreements, including prohibitions, setting targets, information and informed consent, environmental impact assessment, licensing, monitoring and reporting, safe procedures and cleaning up, and liability.

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