Current Developments

Future of whaling vis-à-vis Japan’s withdrawal from IWC

Japan conducted its first successful commercial whale hunt on July 1, 2019 since thirty years, against significant resistance from the international community, after it had formally withdrawn from the International Convention on the Regulations of Whaling (ICRW) in December 2018 by exercising the ‘opting out’ clause. The recommencement of hunting poses pertinent questions for international law: What legal impact will the withdrawal have on the work of the International Whaling …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Playing with Fire

Is the aid pledged by the G7 an offer Brazil’s President Bolsonaro cannot refuse?

“Our house is burning”, French President Macron found graphic words to address the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, which have reached threatening levels in the past weeks. 80,000 fires this year alone have resulted in the loss of approximately 350,000 hectares of rainforest. Notably, Brazilian President Bolsonaro is known to support the ‘slash-and-burn’ agriculture, which is responsible for most of the fires, and only initiated a two month ban of …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part II)

The first part of this post established the intrinsic connection between human rights and the protection of biodiversity, looked at human rights and the environment in international public law in general and examined the conceptual relationship between biodiversity and the environment. The second part centers around the current approach of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment which promises nothing less than a change of paradigm on …

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DiscussionKick-off

Human rights and the international protection of biodiversity – A promising alliance (Part I)

For a long time, the legal and political endeavours to protect humans from violations of their basic rights seemed in no way connected to the preservation of biodiversity. In the past, this paradigm has been reflected by indifferent international responses to biodiversity issues: Whereas the promotion and protection of human rights has in recent decades become a major concern of the international community and the relationship between human rights and …

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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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Current Developments

Defending the Defenders

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

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 led to the Inter-American Commission …

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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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