Legitimacy, Accountability, and Partnership: A Model for Advocacy on Third World Environmental Issues

23 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2005 Last revised: 13 Jun 2018

See all articles by David A. Wirth

David A. Wirth

Boston College - Law School; Vermont Law School


To date, there has been little effort to define the characteristics of responsible environmental reform efforts by private citizens and organizations in the United States on foreign environmental problems, such as the quality of foreign aid. Moreover, there have been virtually no attempts to identify a principled role for American lawyers in Third World environmental issues. This Essay will respond to these lacunae by articulating a new approach to advocacy based on a partnership model.

In Part I, this Essay identifies the need for American public interest advocates to establish partnerships with directly affected groups on Third World environmental issues. Next, Part II examines another case study of partnership advocacy by nongovernmental organizations in Sri Lanka and the United States. Elaborating on this specific experience, Part III of this Essay evaluates the general benefits and responsibilities of the partnership relationship. After articulating the limitations of partnership advocacy, Part IV then proposes an extension of that model that focuses on establishing formal international adjudicatory mechanisms to provide remedies to those members of the public injured by decisions of international institutions.

Keywords: Environmental reform, foreign environmental problems, foreign aid, Third World environmental issues, public interest advocacy, nongovernmental organizations, Sri Lanka, United States, partnership advocacy, international adjudication, international institutions

Suggested Citation

Wirth, David A., Legitimacy, Accountability, and Partnership: A Model for Advocacy on Third World Environmental Issues. Yale Law Journal Vol. 100, No. 8, 1991, Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1991-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=753572

David A. Wirth (Contact Author)

Boston College - Law School ( email )

885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459-1163
United States

Vermont Law School

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics