Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Distributive Justice in International Law

REVELING IN THE WILDS OF CLIMATE LAW, R. Lyster, ed., Australian Academic Press, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/104

23 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009

See all articles by Ben Saul

Ben Saul

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: October 6, 2009

Abstract

This article considers how international law responds, fails to respond, and ought to respond, to the special global problems (including conflict) posed by increasing resource scarcity, particularly shortages of food, water and energy. It demonstrates that international law has been historically poor at articulating and realizing any aspiration of global distributive justice, despite some promising developments in specialised branches of law such as international environmental law and the law of the sea. It argues that distributive justice is an important global ethical principle which ought to animate and underpin the international legal order, and that there is sufficient global political solidarity and community to enable such a principle to be pursued. Distributive justice can assist in addressing poverty and defusing resource conflicts. Embedding a principle of distributive justice is ultimately likely to enhance the legitimacy of the international legal order which, in the long run, will help to establish the conditions for human dignity, shared prosperity and global peace.

Keywords: climate change, resource scarcity, distributive justice, right to development, new economic order, environmental conflict

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Saul, Ben, Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Distributive Justice in International Law (October 6, 2009). REVELING IN THE WILDS OF CLIMATE LAW, R. Lyster, ed., Australian Academic Press, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1484340

Ben Saul (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sydney.edu.au/law/about/people/profiles/ben.saul.php

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