Since 1992 and within a remarkably short period of time, sustainable development has been endorsed and recognised in a number of instruments of international law. Thus, it is incorporated in various environmental treaties as well as in international fisheries agreements, the 1995 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and EU law. Sustainable development and related concepts also feature in a number of international judicial decisions of the 1990s, for example those of the International Court of Justice and the WTO Appellate Body.
The chapters assembled in this book illustrate various aspects of efforts of policy makers, regional and national interest groups to invoke and rely upon international law for the realisation of the objective of sustainable development. They deal in particular with recent examples of the practice of states and of relevant international organisations, especially in such areas as international trade, foreign investment regulation, human rights and natural resources and waste management. Furthermore, some chapters are dedicated to a review of relevant practice at the regional and national level.