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Advanced Introduction to International Environmental Law

Ellen Hey

This Advanced Introduction provides both an overview and a critical assessment of international environmental law (IEL) written by one of the leading authorities in this field. An invaluable entry point to this complex area of the law, the book pinpoints essential principles and institutions and distils the vast and often technical corpus of legal doctrine whilst also offering insights that stimulate critical thinking. Covering the origins, substantive content, institutional structure and accountability mechanisms of IEL, the book discusses substantive and procedural fairness, thus exploring questions of distributive justice, accountability and legitimacy. Providing an invaluable entry point to this complex area of the law, this book will prove a useful resource for professors, practitioners and policy-makers needing to quickly gain an understanding of the core principles of this multi-faceted topic. It will also serve as a stimulating introductory text for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
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5 Institutional structures

Ellen Hey


Several institutional patterns are discernible, if one takes a helicopter view of the decision-making processes and actors involved in the development of international environmental policy and law. MEAs are the most salient element in these patterns. An MEA provides a framework for further cooperation among states parties, often together with other actors, hence the denomination framework conventions. MEAs structure further cooperation in two distinct ways. Some MEAs require that their content be developed in decision-making among groups of its states parties in the context of environments or species that they share. In this case normative development takes place within these more localized agreements. An example of this type of MEAs is the Watercourses Convention, which requires implementation at the level of international watercourses. Other MEAs establish a basic institutional structure and require further decision-making at theglobal or regional level. In this case normative development of the regime evolves by way of these global or regional decision-making processes. Examples of this type of MEA are, at the global level, CITES, the UNFCCC, the Stockholm Convention and, at the regional level,the LRTAP and Aarhus Conventions. The Ramsar Convention and theBonn Convention are examples of conventions that combine thetwo approaches. The former provides a global framework for further development of, among other things, standards regarding the wise use of wetlands and its Article 5 requires states to cooperate with respect to the conservation of shared wetlands. The latter provides a global framework for decision-making on migratory species and requires states that share...

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