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The Environmental Jurisprudence of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

This presentation starts out with an overview of the environmental jurisprudence of international tribunals and courts in the last decade. The author then examines the jurisprudence of the ITLOS and considers four issues that have arisen: the precautionary principle; environmental impact assessment; environmental co-operation; and jurisdiction over marine environmental disputes. Concluding, he asks what the jurisprudence tells us about the Tribunal's role in the LOSC dispute settlement system. First, the Tribunal's provisional measures cases have established the utility of the Article 290 procedure as a means of protecting the rights of other States but also the marine environment in general. Second, there is evidence in the case law of a desire to settle disputes between the parties in a way that contributes to the development of a consistent jurisprudence and of a willingness to interpret and apply Part XII of the Convention in accordance with the contemporary state of international environmental law. The Tribunal's record on marine environmental disputes is a positive one.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Public International Law, University of Edinburgh and Barrister, Essex Court Chambers, London


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