26 Pages Posted: 12 May 2005
A common critique of international agreements is that they lack enforcement and are weak. A key element of this purported weakness is the lack of effective monitoring of state compliance. This Article explores two modes of treaty monitoring: "police patrols" and "fire alarms." These concepts, drawn from the literature on congressional oversight in political science, are applied to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a side agreement to NAFTA. The Agreement is unusual in that it empowers private actors to bring direct complaints about noncompliance to an international organization, i.e., it creates a fire alarm for citizens and NGOs. The implications of this structure of treaty monitoring are analyzed, as are the reasons behind the creation of this treaty feature.
Keywords: North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, environmental law enforcement, treaty monitoring
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Raustiala, Kal, Police Patrols & Fire Alarms in the NAAEC. Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 26, pp. 389-413, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=722281
By Karen Alter