Consentia on Multidisciplinary Research

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ROLE IN PROTECTING ENVIRONMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

In early 1970s, international environmental law was a fledgling field with less than three dozen multilateral agreements.[1]The present-day international environmental law is arguably setting the pace for cooperation in the international community in the development of international law. Therefore, it is very important to assess what we have done and explore where we are headed.

International environmental law is the body of international law that concerns the protection of the global environment. It is primarily based upon treaties and other international legal instruments.[2] It originated as a collection of rules that grew up sporadically, as a haphazard and piecemeal response to specific environmental problems, but has now achieved a certain amount of coherence, in the sense that it has a clear and unified philosophical foundation.[3] One of the defining characteristics of environment problems is their complexity.[4]

The current environmental law is based mainly on an anthropocentric philosophy whose basic tenet is that mankind is inherently separate from the nature, and that natural resources are to be exploited for the benefit of mankind.[5] The welfare of mankind is therefore to be accorded primary importance in any regime for environmental protection.[6]

In the area of space law or in the field of international economic law, customary international law dealing with the environment is at best rudimentary.[7] It traditionally relies on a few cases, the most important being the Trail Smelter Arbitration,[8] which is usually referred for the basic legal proposition that no state may knowingly allow its territory to be used in a manner that would cause serious physical injury to the environment of another state. It has been confirmed by other cases, including the Lake Lanoux case[9] and the Gut Dam case.[10]


 

II. INTERNATIONAL CONCERN OVER THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

2.1. Pre-Stockholm Era

International rules on environmental concerns date from the early nineteenth century. At that time, attention centred on the exploitation of natural resources as a result of growing industrialization. A number of bilateral treaties were signed with the aim of conserving fishing stocks,[11] but pollution and other ecological issues were not addressed.

In 1893, a dispute between the US and Great Britain over the exploitation of seals for fur was submitted to international arbitration.[12] In 1941, the Trail Smelter case[13] arose. It led to what has been described as “a crystallizing moment for international environmental law.”[14] The two states agreed to submit the matter to arbitration.[15]

2.2. The Stockholm Conference: Mark of a New Beginning

By 1972, a significant body of environmental obligations had been established at both a regional and global level. International concern was no longer focused only on the conservation of flora and fauna but was addressing issues such as oil pollution and the effects on the atmosphere of nuclear tests. In 1972, the first international conference on the environment- the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,[16] held in Stockholm, marked a turning point in the development of international environmental law. It placed environmental issues firmly on the international legislative agenda, and a declaration issued by the participating states proclaimed that: “a point has been reached in history when we must shape our actions through the world with a more prudent care for their environmental consequences.”[17]

2.3. The Brundtland Report : Introduction of Sustainable Development

In the 1970s and 1980s, the nature and extent of the world’s environmental problems were changing rapidly, not only because the rate at which human activity was affecting the environment increased dramatically, but also because of increased scientific knowledge in relation to the global warming effects of fossil fuel emissions and mass deforestation. In 1987, a report by the World Commission on Environment and Development, known as the Brundtland Report.[18] The report concluded that if natural resources continued to be used at the current rate, if the plight of the poor was ignored, and if pollution and wasting of resources continued, a decline was to be expected in the quality of the life of the world’s population. The report raised the profile of the concept of “sustainable development” which has gradually come to underpin environmental law at an international, EC and UK level.[19]

2.4. The Rio Conference (Earth Summit)

In 1992, the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (“Earth Summit”) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was attended by approximately 10,000 delegates from 176 states. The conference produced the following:

(i) the Declaration on Environment and Development (the Rio Declaration),[20] which defines the rights and responsibilities of states;

(ii) a global action plan for all states on development and the environment (Agenda 21) negotiated over a period of two years and accepted by all of the participating states;

(iii) two multilateral treaties, which were opened for signature: the Convention on Biological Diversity[21] and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.[22] These were signed by representatives of more than 150 countries.

The Rio Declaration marked a conceptual breakthrough, in that the natural world was added to the social and economic dimensions of “development” to produce the concept of “sustainable development”.[23]

Despite its initial promise, the Rio Declaration is now regarded as a less successful document than its predecessor. Its success can be judged by the disappointing extent to which it has been implemented. The declaration is perhaps best regarded as merely a mid-1992 “snapshot” of the debate over reconciling economic development with environmental protection.[24]

2.5. The Johannesburg Summit (2002)

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Rio Declaration, the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg in September 2002 (the “Johannesburg Summit”). This meeting did not produce any declarations of principles. Its main focus was the eradication of poverty, and no specific actions were agreed in respect of the environment, apart from a continued commitment to sustainable development. As a result of this, there is currently no firm indication of the direction in which international environmental law is likely to develop.[25]

2.6. Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (2009)

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark took place from 7-19 December 2009. It included the 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 5th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5), which were held in conjunction with the thirty-first sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 31) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 31), the 10th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 10) and the 8th session of Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under UNFCCC (AWG-LCA 8).[26] Most delegates, however, left Copenhagen disappointed at what they saw as a “weak agreement,” and questioning its practical implications given that the Copenhagen Accord had not been formally adopted as the outcome of the negotiations.[27]

2.7. United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or the Rio+20 Conference

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as “Earth Summit 2012” was the third international conference on sustainable development aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global community. The ten day mega-summit, which culminated in a three-day high-level UN conference, was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and included participation from 192 UN member states.[28] The decision to hold the conference was made by UN General Assembly[29]

The chief outcome of the conference was the nonbinding document, “The Future We Want”, a 49-page work paper, in which the heads of state of the 192 governments in attendance renewed their political commitment to sustainable development and declared their commitment to the promotion of a sustainable future.[30]


 

III. ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: CONTRIBUTION TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

3.1. The United Nations

In 1945, the creation of a global organization- the United Nations, after the destruction caused by the Second World War provided an institutional framework within which to develop international law on the environment. Although the UN Charter did not refer explicitly to environmental protection, its mandate has proved wide enough to include environmental matters.[31] A number of “programmes” and “commissions” have been set up which report to the Economic and Social Committee, and some of these have an environmental role:

3.1.1. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The United Nations Environment Programme was created by a decision of the 1972 Stockholm Conference as a body to guide the future development of international environmental law. It comprises 58 representatives, elected to serve a three year term. Originally, its function was perceived as the provision of general policy guidance to the UN, which would serve to co-ordinate the efforts of other UN bodies in securing environmental protection. However, in the wake of the 1992 Rio Conference its role was strengthened, so that it now takes the lead in formulating law and policy. It also collates and disseminates environmental information for the use of national governments, and provides scientific advice to the Commission on Sustainable Development.[32]

3.1.2. The Commission on Sustainable Development

This body was established in the wake of the 1992 Rio Conference. It consists of representatives of 53 states, elected to serve a three year term. Its remit is to monitor and review the implementation of “Agenda 21”. The commission has few powers and resources, but serves as a permanent diplomatic forum for negotiation between governments on environmental issues.[33]

 

3.2. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD has a number of committees, responsible for such matters as energy, fisheries and scientific and technological policy. It also has an Environment Committee. Much of the OECD’s early environmental work concerned the problem of trans- boundary pollution, and in this context it was responsible for developing the well known “polluter pays principle”. It was the first international body to take legal action to control exports and imports of hazardous waste. The relevant Acts of the OECD Council have formed the basis of the Basel Convention and an EC Regulation on the shipment of hazardous waste.[34]

3.3. The World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization was established in 1994 to serve as a forum for furthering international trade and for setting disputes arising out of the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and other trade agreements. Inevitably, the resolution of trade disputes arising under the GATT rules has had an environmental dimension. The best known and most controversial of these disputes have concerned the impact of methods of catching tuna on dolphins.[35] The latest environmental dispute to come before the WTO relates to Genetically Modified Organisms.[36]

IV. INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE: COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT

The International Court of Justice, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, constitutes an essential part of the entire machinery for the maintenance of international public order in the United Nations and the role that it has played and will play for the future in the development of international environmental law should not be underestimated.

At the same time, however, it should be kept in mind that the Court, is primarily a court of civil jurisdiction entrusted with the task primarily of settling disputes that arise between States.[37]

4.1. Territorial Jurisdiction of the International Commission of the River Oder (Germany et al v. Poland) case (1929)

This was a case relating to a dispute between Poland and several other States of Europe concerning the question of whether the jurisdiction of the International Commission of the River Oder extended to the tributaries of the Oder, Warthe and Netze rivers, located in Polish territory. As such, therefore, the case did not involve an environmental issue. Nevertheless, the dictum of the Court set out the following principle which, as applicable to the present day, can be regarded as the pronouncement of a general principle of international law applicable to international environmental law as that of a common legal right.[38]

4.2. The Corfu Channel (United Kingdom v. Albania) case (1949)

This case is related to a dispute between the United Kingdom and Albania concerning the incident in which British naval warships, while passing through the Corfu Channel within the Albanian waters, came into contact with mines and were damaged. It was alleged by the United Kingdom as Applicant that Albania was responsible in international law for having laid the mines or at least having permitted the laying of the mines in question within its own territorial jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that the principle of sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas,[39] derived from Roman law, and applied in the Trail Smelter arbitration[40], was confirmed. Specifically, the Court in the Corfu Channel case[41] declared the following principle applicable to the situation. It is useful to note that the “Stockholm Declaration” has incorporated this dictum in its Principle 21 and the “Rio Declaration” also endorsed this principle in its Principle 2[42].

4.3. Certain Phosphate Lands in Nauru (Nauru v. Australia) case (1992)

In a case brought by the Republic of Nauru against Australia, the Applicant claimed that the Respondent State would bear responsibility for breaches of, inter alia, the environmental legal obligations.[43]

Since the cause of action by Nauru concerned “a dispute … over the rehabilitation of certain phosphate lands [in Nauru] worked out before Nauruan independence”,[44] this apparently was a case which could involve some points of international environmental law. Later in 1993, however, Nauru and Australia informed the Court that they had agreed to discontinue the proceedings before the Court. Thus the Court did not have the opportunity to address the points of international environmental law raised in this case.

4.4. Gabcíkovo–Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia) case (1997)

The Gabcikovo Case arose out of a Treaty signed in 1977 between Hungary and Czechoslovakia.[45] This treaty concerned the construction of a ‘System of Locks’ on the Danube River, to be operated jointly by the parties and designed for the production of hydroelectricity, improved navigation and protection from flooding[46] and the construction began in 1978.[47] In the face of growing domestic ecological concern and criticism, the Hungarian Government suspended works on its part of the project in 1989, ultimately terminating the Treaty in 1992.[48]

4.4.1. Issues before the Court[49]

        i.            Whether Hungary was entitled to abandon the Project?

In relation to the first claim, the Court held that Hungary had breached the Treaty by abandoning works on the Project and that it could not rely on an argued ‘state of ecological necessity’ justifying the breach.[50]

      ii.            Whether Czechoslovakia was then entitled to proceed with Variant C?

Czechoslovakia was found to have acted unlawfully in depriving Hungary of its rightful ‘equitable and reasonable share’ of the Danube by putting Variant C into operation.[51]

    iii.            Whether Hungary was entitled to terminate the Treaty?

Finally, the Court determined that Hungary’s purported termination of the Treaty was invalid.[52] Various treaty-based arguments on the part of Hungary, including that new norms of international environmental law precluded Treaty performance, were rejected.[53]

4.5. Compliance and Enforcement Mechanisms in International Environmental Law

In its most basic sense, enforcement may be defined as “the act of compelling compliance  with a law.”[54]  Historically, enforcement of international law was bilateral in that only the aggrieved state was entitled to respond to a perceived breach of its rights. Enforcement was state-focused in two important respects:

        i.            On the one hand, international law was a self-judging system. Each state decided for itself whether its rights had been violated and what response action to take.

      ii.            On the other hand, it was a self-help system without any central authorities or institutions through which rights could be vindicated or enforced.

Finally, until the beginning of the 20th century, military force was an acceptable means for states to settle differences, pursue their interests or enforce their rights.[55]

Today, international law encompasses some obligations that are owed erga omnes,[56] which entitle all states to take certain measures in response to a violation.[57] In addition, states are no longer entirely dependent upon self-help. International institutions provide for at least a limited range of collective enforcement mechanisms, the most prominent – and also unusual – among them being the UN Security Council.[58]

To be sure, auto-interpretation processes remain an important feature of the dynamic horizontal structure of contemporary international law.[59] However, states do have access to a growing range of judicial dispute resolution options. The spectrum runs from formal judicial forums, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, to quasi-judicial processes, such as the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement procedure.[60] The range of options has grown to the point that concerns have been voiced over the proliferation of international tribunals with overlapping spheres of jurisdiction.[61] Sir Ian Brownlie stressed that because of the complex ways in which law is made meaningful in the life of its subjects, “the law is … not external, coercive and alien but internal, logically necessary and familiar.”[62]

The implications of theories focused on the legitimacy of international law for compliance and enforcement are significant. They suggest that promotion of compliance does  not begin with “mechanisms” for the interpretation and application of pre-established rules. It is already in the processes through which norms are created that one must build the foundations for ultimate compliance.[63]

4.6. Significance of ICJ in Compliance and Enforcement

The role of the Court in international environmental law would seem to be increasingly significant in the following three dimensions.

        i.            First, it is fair to say that the International Court, through the process of settling a bilateral dispute involving environmental issues between States, can contribute to identifying and confirming the points of law that pertain to international environmental law as an important component of the public order of this community.[64]

      ii.            No less important as a function of the Court in its contribution to the development of international environmental law is the capacity of the Court to make pronouncements which are of general application as an enunciation of principles of international law, which as such would be applicable to international environmental issues.[65] In this context, it is of particular significance that, under the Charter of the United Nations[66] and the Statute of the Court[67], the Court is empowered to give an Advisory Opinion at the request of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

    iii.            It is to be emphasized that the Court, aware of the growing importance of the issue of environment in contemporary international life and the potential service that it can offer to the development of the law in this field, has been conscious of the need to strengthen its capacity for dealing with cases pertaining to disputes specifically relating to international environmental law as such.[68]

V. PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENT: THE INDIAN STANDPOINT

5.1. Indian International Obligations on Environment

India has obligations under the following international treaties and agreements that relate to environmental issues:

  • The Antarctic Treaty[69] (Washington)
  • Convention on the Wetlands of International Importance[70]
  • Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage[71] (Paris)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora[72] (Washington)
  • Convention on the Migratory Species of Wild Animals[73] (Bonn)
  • Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources[74] (Canberra)
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea[75] (Montego Bay)
  • Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer[76] (Vienna)
  • Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer[77] (Montreal)
  • Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer[78] (London)
  • Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal[79] (Basel)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change[80] (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity[81] (Rio de Janeiro)
  • International Tropical Timber Agreement[82] (Geneva)
  • Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctica Treaty (Madrid, 1991)

This shows that India has been actively participating in the environment protection issues, not only at the domestic level, but also at the international level.

5.2. India’s Environment Policy: Constitutional Provisions and Judicial Interpretation

The Indian Constitution is amongst the few in the world that contains specific provisions on environmental protection.[83] The Hon’ble Supreme Court has viewed its own constitutional role as:

The issues of environment must and shall receive the highest attention from this Court.[84]

The above approach has led the Supreme Court to derive, adopt and apply a range of principles for protecting the environment. The major principles are:

  1. Every person enjoys the right to a wholesome environment, which is a facet of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.[85]
  2. Enforcement agencies are under an obligation to strictly enforce environmental laws.[86]
  3. Government Agencies may not plead non-availability of funds, inadequacy of staff or other insufficiencies to justify the non-performance of their obligations under environmental laws.[87]
  4. The ‘polluter pays’ principle, which is a part of the basic environmental law of the land requires that a polluter bears the remedial or clean up costs as well as the amounts payable to compensate the victims of the pollution.[88]
  5. The ‘precautionary principle’ requires government authorities to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental pollution. This principle also imposes the onus of proof on the developer or industrialist to show that his/her action is environmentally benign.[89]
  6. Government development agencies charged with decision making ought to give due regard to ecological factors.[90]
  7. The power conferred under an environmental statute may be exercised only to advance environmental protection and not for a purpose that would defeat the object of law.[91]
  8. The state is the trustee of all the natural resources which are by nature meant for public use and enjoyment. These resources cannot be converted into private ownership.[92]

Some of the major legislations enacted by the Indian Parliament are as follows:

  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • The Water ( Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
  • Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • The National Environmental Tribunal Act, 1995
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The Atomic Energy Act, 1962


 

VI. CONCLUSION

International environmental law is neither an ongoing success story nor a finished book. It is a subject of live debate and reconfiguration. International environmental law continues to be a changing paradigm. The Stockholm Conference drew the attention of the world to the environment and the issues related to its awareness and protection, and the Rio Summit recognised that contemporary environmental problems stem from underdevelopment and to some extent, ‘lack of awareness’. Therefore, attention has now been accorded to the concept of “sustainable development”, which is increasingly interwoven in discussions of human rights and the term is frequently being debated within corporate social responsibility. This shift in approach is evident from the recent international Conventions and other legal instruments, out of which the author has tried to include the major part of these materials in this project report.

The international community has also recognised the particular problems that the developing countries generally face when adopting international standards for the regulation of the environment, and some Third World countries have received preferential treatment in the international Conventions. For instance, the concept of ‘Space Law’ is also receiving the consideration for being an integral part of the issues related to the environment. With technological and industrial advancements, the world has now become more vulnerable to withstand against the prevailing condition of the international environmental law.

International environmental issues are now recognised as requiring international co-operation seeking prevention. This is necessary if the human environment of succeeding generations is to be at least no worse than that which currently exists. Therefore, it is a moral duty of every member of the mankind to protect the environment as great heights can only be achieved through good foundation.

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  1. Statutes Referred
  • Indian Forest Act, 1927
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Atomic Energy Act, 1962
  • The Constitution of India, 1950
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
  • The National Environmental Tribunal Act, 1995
  • The Water ( Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
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  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
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  • Agreed Measures for the Conservation of the Antarctic Flora and Fauna, 1964
  • Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (London)
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  • Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 1980
  • Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, 1972
  • Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington)
  • Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra)
  • Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (Basel)
  • Convention on the Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn)
  • Convention on the Wetlands of International Importance
  • International Tropical Timber Agreement (Geneva)
  • Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctica Treaty (Madrid, 1991)
  • Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal)
  • Statute of the International Court of Justice
  • The Antarctic Treaty (Washington)
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego Bay)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Geneva, 1979)
  • Vienna Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, 1986
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AUTHOR DETAILS:

Abhishek. T , 4th year, B.A.LL.B(Hons),
Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam
Email: abhithommandru@gmail.com


Trishna Roy, 4th year, B.A.LL.B(Hons),
Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam
Email: trishnaroy.legal@gmail.com

[1] Edith Brown Weiss, International Environmental Law: Contemporary Issues and the Emergence of a New

World Order, 81 GEO. L. J. 675-84, 702-10 (1993).

[2] Peter Malanczuk(ed), “Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law”, Routledge Publishers, 7th ed., 2000, p. 242.

[3]M.A.Thornton and Silas Beckwith, “Environmental Law”, Thomson Sweet and Maxwell, 2nd ed., 2004, p. 6.

[4]Stuart Bell, and Donald McGillivray, Environmental Law, Oxford University Press, 6th ed., 2006, p.45.

[5] Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 7.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Malanczuk, Supra note 2, p. 245.

[8] The Trail Smelter Case, USA v. Canada, (1941) 3 R.I.A.A. 1905.

[9] The Lake Lanoux Arbitration, 12 R.I.A.A. 1963, at 281.

[10] The Gut Dam Case, USA v. Canada, 8 I.L.M. 118 (1969).

[11] See Convention between France and Great Britain relative to Fisheries (1857); North Sea Fisheries (Overfishing) Convention, 1882.

[12] The Pacific Fur Seals Arbitration, USA v. Great Britain, (1893) 1 Moore’s International Arbitration Awards 755.

[13] The Trail Smelter Case, Supra note 8.

[14] Philippe Sands, “Principles of International Environmental Law”, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2003.

[15] Trail Smelter Case, Supra note 8.

[16] 10 UN Doc. A/CONF. 48/14/rev.1, adopted on June 16, 1972, (Hereinafter Stockholm Conference).

[17]Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 34.

[18] Report of the World Commission on the Environment and Development: “Our Common Future” (“The Brundtland Report”) (1987)

[19]Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 35.

[20] Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted on June 16, 1992, UN Doc. A/CONF. 151/5 (Hereinafter Rio Declaration).

[21] Convention on Biological Diversity, June 5, 1992, Rio de Janeiro, 31 I.L.M. 822 (1992), (Hereinafter Biodiversity Convention)

[22] UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted on May 9, 1992, New York, 31 I.L.M. 849 (1992).

[23] Priciples 3 & 4 of the Rio Declaration.

[24] Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 37.

[25] Ibid.

[26]Retrived from http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12459e.html. Last visited on 10-May-2014.

[27]Ibid.

[28] See http://www.uncsd2012.org/about.html. Last visited on 10-May-2014.

[29] UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/236,  last visited on 10-May-2014.

[30]Text of the document available at http://www.slideshare.net/uncsd2012/the-future-we-want-rio20-outcome-document. Last visited on 10-May-2014.

[31]Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 37.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34]Thornton, Supra note 3, p. 39.

[35] See http://www.globalization101.org/index.php?file=issue&pass1=subs&id=149, retrieved on 10-May-2014.

[36]See the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures; the Agreement on Agriculture; and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (http://www.wto.org).

[37] Hishashi Owada, Internatinoal Environmental Law and International Court of Justice, Inaugural Lecture at the Fellowship Programme on International and Comparative Environmental Law, 2006, p.1.

[38] Territorial Jurisdiction of the International Commission of the River Oder, Judgment No. 16, 1929, P. C. I. J., Series A, No. 23, 27, emphasis added.

[39] “One should use his own property in such a manner as not to injure that of another.”

[40]Supra note 8.

[41] U,K. v. Albania, I.C.J. Rep. 1949.

[42] Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Annex I, A/CONF.151/26

(Vol. I).

[43] Certain Phosphate Lands in Nauru (Nauru v. Australia), Preliminary Objections, Judgment, I. C. J. Reports

1992, 243–244.

[44] Ibid., at p. 242.

[45]In 1993, the Slovak Republic became the Successor State to the Treaty after the division of Czechoslovakia.

[46]Gabcikovo­Nagymaros Project (Hungary v Slovakia) (Judgment) [1997] ICJ Rep. 7, 17-18 [Judgment]. One series of locks was to be located in Gabcikovo, then Czechoslovakia, and one in Nagymaros in Hungary, hence the name of the case.

[47]Ibid., at p. 25.

[48]Ibid., at p. 25, 27.

[49]Ibid., at p. 11-12.

[50]Ibid., at p. 46.

[51]Ibid., at p. 56.

[52]Ibid., at p. 69.

[53]Ibid., at p. 63-68.

[54] Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th ed., 2004, at p. 569.

[55] A. Cassese, “International Law”, Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2005, at p. 229.

[56] Barcelona Traction Case (Second Phase), I.C.J. Reports 1970, 3 et seq. (paras 33-34).

[57] See Articles 42, 48, 49 & 54 of the Draft Articles on Reponsibility of States for International Wrongful Acts, in Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of Its Fifty-Third Session, UN GAOR, 56th Sess., Suppl. No. 10, 43, UN Doc. A/56/10 (2001).

[58]See T.D. Gill, “Legal and Some Political Limitations on the Power of the UN Security Council to Exercise its Enforcement Powers under Chapter VII of the Charter,” Netherlands Ybook Int’l L. XXVI (1995) 33 et seq.

[59] See D. Bodansky, “Customary (and Not So Customary) International Environmental Law,” Ind. J. Global Leg. Stud. 3 (1995) 105, at p.116-119.

[60] See R.O. Keohane et al, “Legalized Dispute Resolution: Interstate and Transnational,” in J.L. Goldstein, et al, (eds), Legalization and World Politics, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001, at p. 73.

[61] See B.Kingsbury, “Foreword: Is the Proliferation of International Courts and Tribunals a Systemic Problem?” N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol, 31 (1999), 679; P.M. Dupuy, “The Danger of Fragmentation or Unification of the International Legal System and the International Court of Justice,” N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 31 (1999), 791.

[62] I. Brownlie, The Reality and Efficacity of International Law, British Ybook.  Int’l L. 55 (1981), 1.

[63] See P.J. Katzenstein  et al., International Organization  and the Study of World Politics, Int’l Org. 52 (1998), 645, at p. 658.

[64] M. Finnemore & K. Sikkink, International Norm Dynamics and Political Change, Int’l Org. 52 (1998), 887.

[65] J.G. Ruggie, What Makes the World Hang Together? Neo-utilitarianism and the Social Constructivist Challenge, Int’l Org. 52 (1998), at p. 855.

[66] Charter of the United Nations, Article 96.

[67] Statute of the ICJ, Article 65.

[68] A. Wendt, Collective Identity Formation and the International State (1994) 88 Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 88 (1994), at p. 384.

[69]402 UNTS 71.

[70]11 I.L.M. 963 (1972).

[71]11 I.L.M. 1358 (1972).

[72]12 I.L.M. 1055 (1973).

[73]19 I.L.M. 15 (1980).

[74] 19 I.L.M. 841 (1980).

[75]21 I.L.M. 1261 (1982).

[76]26 I.L.M. 1529 (1987).

[77]26 I.L.M. 1550 (1987).

[78]30 I.L.M. 541 (1991).

[79]28 I.L.M. 657 (1989).

[80]31 I.L.M. 849 (1992).

[81]31 I.L.M. 818 (1992).

[82]33 I.L.M. 1016 (1994).

[83]Shyam Divan and Armin Rosencranz, “Environmental Law and Policy in India”, Oxford, 2nd ed., 2007, p.45.

[84]Emphasis supplied. Tarun Bharat Singh, Alwar v. Union of India (Sariska Case) Writ Petition (Civil) No. 509 of 1991.

[85]Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420 at 424; M.C. Mehta v. Union of India (Delhi Stone Crushing Case), (1992) 3 SCC 256 at 257.

[86]Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. U.O.I. (CRZ Notification Case), (1996) 5 SCC 281 at 294 and 301.

[87] Dr. B.L. Wadhera v. U.O.I. (Delhi Garbage Case), AIR 1996 SC 2969 at 2976.

[88]Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. U.O.I. (Bichhri Case), AIR 1996 SC 1446 at 1466; S. Jagannath v. U.O.I. (Shrimp Culture Case), AIR 1997 SC 811 at 846 and 850.

[89]Vellore Citizens’ Welfare Forum v. U.O.I., AIR 1996 SC 2715 at 2721; A.P. Pollution Control Board v. Prof. M.V. Nayadu, AIR 1999 SC 812 at 819.

[90]State of Himachal Pradesh v. Ganesh Wood Products, AIR 1996 SC 149 at 159 and 163.

[91]Bangalore Medical Trust v. B.S. Muddappa, AIR 1991 SC 1902 at 1911 and 1924.

[92]M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath (Span Motels Case), (1997) 1 SCC 388.

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