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This chapter argues that rule and principles of general international law concerning protection of the environment can be identified. It should not be forgotten that international environmental law is not a separate or self-contained field of law, and nor is it currently comprehensively codified or set out in a single treaty or body of treaties. It could be argued that international environmental law is merely the application of established rules, principles, and processes of general international law to the resolution of international environmental problems and disputes, without the need for creating new law, or even for developing old law. The chapter looks in detail at the issues around the expectations and realities of international environmental law.

Chapter

This chapter examines the Court of Justice’s (CJ) case law on the supremacy of European Union (EU) law over national laws of Member States, analyses the question of priorities between directly effective EU law and domestic law, and also looks at this problem from the perspective of the national courts, including issues of human rights protection. It argues that the CJ’s introduction of the notion of supremacy, as part of EU law constituting a ‘new legal order’, was instrumental in providing a view of the Union as a body which went beyond what was normal for an international law organization. The chapter also describes how Member States developed their own constitutional rules as a response to EU law.

Chapter

This chapter first explains the concept of theory and what it does. It then illustrates the formative power of theory by contrasting two very different accounts of international law: the New Haven School, which was elaborated principally by Myres McDougal and Harold Lasswell in Yale Law School; and the pre-perestroika Soviet theory of international law propounded by GI Tunkin. The chapter argues that despite their differences, the New Haven and Soviet schools share a common approach: both are instrumental theories of law, aimed at guiding and informing practice. It also considers hegemonic theory, which views international law through the prism of a variant of United States constitutional theory that is rooted in a conservative, if not libertarian, democratic doctrine.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the main provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and considers its implications for the understandings attached to the core constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. The chapter argues that the Blair government’s rapid and determined efforts to convince Parliament to pass the HRA demonstrates that members of the first New Labour administration did not share the simplistic view of democracy embraced by the Conservative Party during the judicial supremacism episode. The 1998 Act may be criticised on the basis that it transfers a dangerous amount of political power from the government to the judges, but the sentiments evinced by many Conservative MPs on this issue had little to commend them from a constitutional perspective.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the main provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and considers its implications for the understandings attached to the core constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and the separation of power. It argues that the Blair government’s rapid and determined efforts to convince Parliament to pass the HRA demonstrates that members of the first New Labour administration did not share the simplistic view of democracy embraced by the Conservative Party during the judicial supremacism episode. The 1998 Act may be criticised on the basis that it transfers a dangerous amount of political power from the government to the judges, but the sentiments evinced by many Conservative MPs on this issue had little to commend them from a constitutional perspective.