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Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

5. Non-State Actors: Environmental Rights, Liability, and Crimes  

This chapter turns to some of the environmental rights and obligations which attach to individuals, corporations, and NGOs in international law. The chapter considers some alternative approaches to the implementation and enforcement of international environmental law. Relying less on interstate claims, or on mechanisms of international supervision, the development of human-rights approaches to environmental protection and the economic logic of the polluter-pays principle have made claims by individuals an increasingly attractive means of dealing with domestic or transboundary environmental problems. But the diversity of the issues needs emphasis in this context also. National remedies are not necessarily alternatives to the systems considered in the last chapter, but are more often complementary to it, and only in certain respects more useful. The variety of approaches now available for the resolution of international environmental disputes does indicate the increasing sophistication of the international legal system, the chapter argues.