International Law and Regulation
Author: Jutta Brunnée
Although acid rain and ozone layer depletion are highly-publicized issues, they have not received the legal attention they warrant. This detailed analysis fills this gap. With a thorough scientific background and a review of technically feasible countermeasures, it addresses the applicable rules of international law, exposing the tension between the traditional concept of sovereignty and the need for international cooperation.

Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
In: Coexistence, Cooperation and Solidarity (2 vols.)
In: What Is War?
In: Ensuring Compliance with Multilateral Environmental Agreements
In: Law of the Sea, Environmental Law and Settlement of Disputes
In: The Future of Ocean Regime-Building
Author: Jutta Brunnée
The interplay between procedure and substance has not been a major point of contention for international environmental lawyers. Arguably, the topic’s low profile is due to the mostly uncontroversial nature of the field’s distinction between procedural and substantive obligations. Furthermore, the vast majority of environmental law scholars and practitioners have tended to welcome the procedural features of multilateral environmental agreements and their potential to promote regime evolution and effectiveness. However, recent developments have served to put the spotlight on certain aspects of the procedure substance topic. ICJ judgments revealed ambiguity on aspects of the customary law framework on transboundary harm prevention that the field had thought largely settled. In turn, in the treaty context, the Paris Agreement’s retreat from binding emissions targets and its decisive turn towards procedure reignited concerns in some quarters over the “proceduralization” of international environmental law. The two developments invite a closer look at the respective roles of, and the relationship between, procedure and substance in this field and, more specifically, in the context of harm prevention under customary and treaty law.

Abstract

The rapid rise of the responsibility to protect provides us with a unique opportunity to consider the impact of a decade or so of determined norm entrepreneurship. The responsibility to protect has not yet become a binding norm of international law, and in this article we examine what factors are holding back or promoting this development. We draw on an 'interactional' account of international law, which focuses on three inter-locking elements. First, legal norms are social norms and as such they are connected to social practice – they must be grounded in shared understandings. Second, what distinguishes law from other types of social ordering is not so much form or pedigree, as adherence to specific criteria of legality. When norm creation meets these criteria and, third, is matched with norm application that also satisfies the legality requirements, international law will have legitimacy and generate a sense of commitment among those to whom it is addressed. After highlighting key steps in the norm building process so far, from the 2001 report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty to the General Assembly debate in 2009, we offer a brief sketch of our theoretical framework, and employ it to examine the trajectory of the responsibility to protect norm, concluding with an assessment of its current and potential status as binding law. Although the responsibility to protect, including its potential for the collectively authorized use of force, is increasingly supported by globally shared understandings, the norm falls short on several of the legality criteria. Furthermore, given the inconsistent practice on protective use of force, no practice of legality can be said to have evolved. Proponents of the norm face a lot of hard work ahead.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect