Police Patrols & Fire Alarms in the NAAEC
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law
Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 26, pp. 389-413, 2004
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, environmental law enforcement, treaty monitoring
Date posted: May 12, 2005