The Duty to Cooperate in International Environmental Law: Constraining State Discretion Through Due Respect

19 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alastair Neil Craik

Alastair Neil Craik

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development; Balsillie School of International Affairs

Date Written: May 9, 2020

Abstract

While the duty to cooperate has been central to the protection of the global environment, it has received much less attention than the (due diligence) obligation to prevent harm to the environment. This paper traces the development of the duty to cooperate in international environmental law in both its general and specific form. At the heart of the duty to cooperate is its procedural approach to mediating competing state claims by requiring states to take the interests of other states and the global community seriously. The duty to cooperate is “other regarding” - it requires states to consider the impacts from the perspective of the affected state and to seek a resolution based on good faith and due respect. What unifies the duty to cooperate across these forms is that it structures State discretion by requiring that States exercise their discretion in ways that are responsive to ‘community interests’. The essence of this article is to explore when and how States are constrained in their freedom of action by having to consider the interests of other States.

Keywords: International Environmental Law, Duty to Cooperate, Procedural Obligations, Discretion

Suggested Citation

Craik, Alastair Neil, The Duty to Cooperate in International Environmental Law: Constraining State Discretion Through Due Respect (May 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3596981

Alastair Neil Craik (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development ( email )

200 University Av. W.
Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1
Canada
519.888.4567, Ext. 36578 (Phone)

Balsillie School of International Affairs ( email )

67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2
Canada

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