Current Developments

Stretching Abstract Reasoning to its Limits

The IACtHR and the Right to a Healthy Environment

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued the Advisory Opinion (AO) of 15 November, 2017 (OC-23/17), on the subject matter of the environment and human rights. Its wide-ranging features already sparked a lively debate in the blogosphere (see here, here and here). Whereas some welcome the Court’s engagement with environmental rights, others are either skeptical of the way in which the AO deals with criteria of state responsibility in human …

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Grafitti picturing Berta Cáceres on a wall in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Current Developments

Defending the Defenders

Assessing LAC-P10, the new treaty to protect environmental activists in Latin America

The assassination of Berta Cáceres On 3 March 2016 Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated. She was a coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and one of the leading voices in her people’s fight against Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Her activism had earned her the Goldman Environmental Prize and years of threats and intimidations by state and non-state actors, which …

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DiscussionKick-off

A right to tourism – and the duty of hosting the leisure class

Some thoughts on the recent Convention on Tourism Ethics

The movement of bodies across borders attracts significant media and academic interest. This interest is often directed at specific forms of movement, such as refugees and economic migration. Another form of movement of bodies is having an important environmental, cultural, social and economic impact, albeit more quietly in the human rights realm: that of tourism, most especially mass tourism. Leisure tourism is not widely recognized as a serious area of …

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DiscussionResponse

Does transnational environmental crime and transnational fisheries crime exist in international law?

Yes, and it is thriving.

In her post, Professor Elliott argues for a ‘levels-of-analysis’ approach to understanding transnational environmental crime. I made a similar argument in a Chapter entitled ‘Fisheries Crime’ in Elliott and Schaedla’s recent book, where I propose three different dimensions to the analysis of ‘fisheries crime’: As a concept in law or the ‘legal procedural perspective’, where ‘fisheries crime’ is an umbrella term for a number of criminal offences, As a criminological phenomenon …

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DiscussionResponse

The battle against transnational fisheries crime

Jurisdictional challenges

The raison d’être of the concept of transnational ‘fisheries crime’ (TFC) (INTERPOL 2013) or ‘marine resource crime’ (UNODC 2011) can be traced to endemic illicit activities in the fisheries sector which, due to their devastating impacts, are increasingly considered as a serious problem worthy of attention as ‘criminal’ rather than merely ‘illegal’ behaviour. In terms of scope and approach, TFC is a broader and perhaps more ambitious successor of the …

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DiscussionResponse

Transnational environmental crime: a challenging problem but not yet a legal concept

A response to Lorraine Elliott Transnational environmental crime is both a challenging reality and a legal concept in the making. From an international law point of view, this concept is currently being defined by soft law instruments that are transmitting normative expectations about the way States may address it rather than prescribing legal provisions. These instruments are paving the way for the future development of international agreements and play an …

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DiscussionKick-off

‘Green Crime’

Transnational Environmental Crimes as a new category of international crimes?

Millions of dollars worth of smuggled elephant ivory intercepted by customs officers each year, shipping containers filled with hundreds of tonnes of illegally traded pangolin scales and kiln-dried geckoes, forests plundered for high-end timber species, rampant criminality in the fisheries sector, and the illegal disposal of hazardous waste across borders: in a report released in June 2016, INTERPOL described environmental crime as a growing international problem that threatens natural resources, …

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Land GovernanceSymposium

Grab me if you can?

The global scramble for land in local context

This post opens our symposium on “Land governance”, which accompanies an international conference at the Law and Society Institute of Humboldt University Berlin. Lawyers and political scientists from Germany, India and Brazil will reflect on the global scramble for land in local contexts. Land as such is a rather localized phenomenon, but land governance matters in much wider political, economic, social and ecological contexts: Control over land has always been …

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Alternative Dispute ResolutionPractitioner's CornerSymposium

From curse to opportunity: Mediation of natural resource conflicts

Since 1946, at least 40 % of intrastate conflicts have been linked to natural resources. Furthermore, conflicts associated with natural resources are more likely to relapse into violence within the first five years of a peace agreement. Fortunately, an increasing number of peace processes and related agreements include natural resource provisions on a direct or indirect basis. For these and other reasons, resource-sensitive mediation and dispute resolution is becoming an …

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DiscussionResponse

Climate Change and the Arctic as a Common Concern

A response to Birgit Peters. In her blog post Birgit Peters reflects on “recent rules and approaches” for protecting the Arctic region in a time of intense climatic changes. Peters emphasizes what she understands as a shift from traditional regulatory approaches that frame the Arctic as a common heritage and common concern, focused on prohibition, to an integrated approach focusing on sustainability. Peters in this respect discusses the role of …

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