International Dispute Settlement
Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, 2007
22 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2007
This paper examines contemporary international dispute settlement in the field of the environment by contrasting dispute settlement by way of procedures contained in international environmental agreements (endogenous) to dispute settlement by way of procedures either of non-environmental agreements or of environmental agreements other than the one under which the dispute arose (exogenous). While the frequency of endogenous procedures is on the rise, their relevance has been historically minimal, and has been further undermined by the emergence of noncompliance procedures. However, resort to exogenous procedures is on the rise and has yielded a substantial record.
The reason why this peculiar approach has been chosen, out of all possible ones, is that it highlights some emerging problems affecting international dispute settlement well beyond the specifically environmental realm: the problem of disharmonic dispute settlement clauses; the phenomenon of fragmentation of a single dispute into several distinct cases; the fact that international environmental disputes, being polymorphous, very often can be looked at from the point of view of different and uncoordinated legal regimes or specific sets of international law; and, lastly, the ongoing multiplication of fora, actors, and levels of jurisdiction. Interestingly enough, these issues first emerged in the context of certain environmental disputes that will be discussed later in this paper.
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