Volume 14:1 (2018)

PDF icon Judicial Education for Sustainability

Laurel Besco

Abstract: Is there a need for judicial education on sustainability? This paper argues that given the increasing relevance and widespread nature of sustainability, it is important for judges to be educated on these concepts. Further, there is some evidence that both an identified need and judicial acceptance for judicial education programs on sustainability does exist, at least in some parts of the judiciary. This analysis draws on international statements, conferences, symposia, case law, and comments made by those within and outside the judiciary to demonstrate this need. While judicial education on sustainability is a global need, the specific content of the education might vary between countries. This article provides several examples of what judicial education curricula might focus on in different jurisdictions, including a discussion of the importance of context and its role in shaping country-specific programs. The paper concludes by demonstrating that the judiciary is and will continue to be called upon to adjudicate on matters of sustainability as well as other related concepts, as they increasingly become part of jurisprudence, legislation, and government action. Therefore, judicial education for sustainability is of growing importance.


PDF icon Trade-Sustainable Development Relationship: The Role of WTO Adjudication in Interpreting and Operationalizing Sustainable Development

Zobaida Khan

Abstract: As a preambular objective of the international trade regime, sustainable development (SD) has caused identifiable interpretative shifts in some post-WTO decisions. Yet, the shift has been negligible in situations where opposing or contesting rules, norms, or principles from other international regimes challenged the determination of boundaries between trade and trade-related rights. Depicting the incoherency in the judicial decisions, this article argues that trade-SD debate should not just focus on reorienting the adjudicatory task towards attending to SD issues, or borrowing rules, norms, or principles from other regimes, or measuring the level of adjudicators’ expertise or the quality of their decisions. Rather, the focus should be on operationalizing SD in trade regulation. In this regard, some relevant questions are whether it is possible to address the complex demands of different member states and their constituents at a judicial site, or whether the adjudicatory body can or should resolve issues that are not necessarily confined to the disputing parties. Considering multiple challenges such as regulatory diversities within and between states, the complexities in addressing the concerns of marginalized participants of the trading system, the absence of public opinion in the judicial proceedings, and the fragmented and weakened governance of social and environmental issues, this article suggests focusing on non-judicial regulatory bodies where the normative potential of SD would produce a much more beneficial and realistic outcome.


PDF icon Un bilan de la Politique nationale de l’eau (2002-2017) au Québec à la lumière de l’éthique environnementale : entre initiatives et suffisances

Alexandre Lillo

Abstract: Le contexte québécois de l’eau se distingue par une tentative avant-gardiste d’unification du droit et de la gestion de cette ressource. Sur les fondements des compétences législatives qui lui sont attribuées, le gouvernement québécois a lancé la Politique nationale de l’eau (PNE) à l’automne 2002, à la suite d’un travail de recherche s’étalant sur plusieurs décennies. Cette modernisation du cadre juridique de la gestion de l’eau au Québec demeure aujourd’hui une initiative unique en son genre au Canada. Après 15 ans d’effectivité, de nouvelles orientations sont sur le point d’être adoptées avec la Stratégie québécoise de l’eau 2018-2030. Il est en ce sens l’heure de dresser un bilan de la PNE, de ses innovations et des outils qui en ont découlé. À la lumière de l’éthique environnementale, le régime juridique de l’eau québécois résultant de la PNE se caractérise par un constat en demi-teinte. Certes, il s’exprime au travers d’une démarche légitime d’inscrire le caractère hybride de l’eau au registre du droit, mais en contrepartie, il continue d’exprimer des manquements quant au respect des relations socio-naturelles définissant cette ressource.


PDF icon Book Review—The Privatisation of Biodiversity? New Approaches to Conservation Law

Sara L. Seck

Abstract: The Privatisation of Biodiversity? New Approaches to Conservation Law, written by Colin T Reid and Walters Nsoh, is a recently published addition to the Edward Elgar book series New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law. The book explores how “private rights and market devices” may serve as an alternative to “direct ‘command and control’ regulation”, and so ensure that the use of natural resources remains within ecological limits, while preventing the loss of habitat, habitat degradation, and species extinctions.1 A diverse range of mechanisms are considered under the “privatisation” heading, with “an emphasis on private law frameworks” that enable private initiatives, choices, and funding, rather than viewing conservation as an enterprise predominantly “controlled and directed by public authorities”(...).


PDF icon Student Essay Feature*—African SIDS under the International Climate Change Regime: Opportunities and Challenges for Regional Cooperation in Operationalizing the Paris Agreement

Mariam Rita Fawole Masini

Abstract: Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. This article describes the evolution of international law on climate change and examines the notion of climate justice for developing countries, particularly SIDS under the Paris Agreement. In order to make the most out of international law, Caribbean SIDS and Pacific SIDS have established regional agreements on climate change. African SIDS do not, however, have any similar framework for cooperation. This article presents an account of why and how African SIDS should consider a regional approach for climate change coordination. The article finds that African islands are under-represented in global climate change fora, despite the proliferation of climate change initiatives on the African continent. The prospect of a regional alliance is proposed as an opportunity for operationalizing the Paris Agreement. The adoption of a regional approach to climate change may address common needs, enhance the sharing of experiences, and provide a pool that dilutes risk for individual African SIDS. This article highlights the advantages and limitations of a regional approach, and offers a brief outline of the steps that should be taken toward a regional framework.

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