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Sanctions In Case Of Non-Compliance And State Responsibility: Pacta Sunt Servanda – Or Else?

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Chapter Summary

Among the existing multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), there is one at least which has consistently used coercive sanctions for 20 years now, which is a fairly long life-span for an 'embryo'. And the authors of The New Sovereignty themselves concede that sanctions under one specific MEA "have often had their desired effect": The reference is to the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which has made effective use of coercive trade sanctions since 1985, in at least 40 well-documented cases to date. As this happens to be one environmental treaty in the implementation of which the author had some practical experience, the author first summarizes CITES practice on sanctions. He then proposes to discuss some of the implications of this experience in terms of the applicable general rules of international law on state responsibility.

Keywords: CITES; coercive trade sanctions; environmental treaty; international law; multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); state responsibility



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