The Law(s) of Sustainable Development

Posted: 18 Jun 2008


Many of us will have experienced the law, and lawyers, to be both enablers and party spoilers. Enablers, since successful application of the law and the professions which administer it (private counsel, police officers, judges) grant a citizen, a State, a company, a solid title with which to change or maintain one's status in society. Party spoilers, since the same application by someone else, may jeopardise a lucrative, comfortable, safe position. This contribution summarily reviews the law of sustainable development from an international law perspective. Its target audience is distinctly non-legal although those lawyers less involved in international environmental issues (which form a core part of sustainable development) may find it a useful quick guide to this more or less young body of international law.

Keywords: Sustainable development, law, environmental law

JEL Classification: K33, K32

Suggested Citation

van Calster, Geert, The Law(s) of Sustainable Development. Available at SSRN: or

Geert Van Calster (Contact Author)

K.U. Leuven ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Bus 3424
B-3000 Leuven, 3000


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