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International Courts and Environmental Protection


  • 7 maps 3 tables
  • Page extent: 458 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.86 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521881227)

International environmental law has come of age, yet the global environment continues to deteriorate. The challenge of the twenty-first century is to reverse this process by ensuring that governments comply fully with their obligations, and progressively assume stricter duties to preserve the environment. This book is the first comprehensive examination of international environmental litigation. Analysing the spectrum of adjudicative bodies that are engaged in the resolution of environmental disputes, it offers a reappraisal of their relevance in contemporary contexts. The book critiques the contribution that arbitral awards and judicial decisions have made to the development of environmental law, and considers the looming challenges for international litigation. With its unique combination of scholarly analysis and practical discussion, this work is especially relevant to an era in which environmental matters are increasingly being brought before international jurisdictions, and will be of great interest to students and scholars engaged with this vital field.

• Includes a comprehensive and critical account of all major international judicial decisions and arbitral awards in the environmental field • Charts the development of international environmental law through landmark judicial decisions • Provides a clear and accessible account of the main areas of international law that have been subject to international judicial attention


Introduction; Part I. International Courts and Environmental Governance: 1. The patchwork of jurisdictions; 2. Institutions of international environmental governance; 3. International courts and environmental governance; Part II. Judicial Development: 4. Transboundary environmental damage; 5. Freshwater resources and ecosystems; 6. Marine wildlife and ecosystems; Part III. Contemporary Challenges: 7. Public interest proceedings; 8. Jurisdictional coordination; 9. Fragmentation of international environmental law; 10. The future of international environmental litigation.


'… likely to appeal to any academic interested in questions of international governance, and particularly to those with an interest in the international environmental aspects of governance. It should, however, also appeal to those with more traditional interests in the development of jurisprudence in and by different courts and tribunals … This book performs a very significant function in that it ably maps the current role of courts and tribunals in international environmental protection.' Elizabeth Kirk, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment

'Stephens' book is a useful addition to the burgeoning field of international environmental law, with helpful analyses of past cases and an overview of the array of relevant tribunals, courts, and treaty-based institutions. The impressive bibliography, tables, and extensive footnotes are a useful resource for anyone interested in the field.' Margaret Graham, Journal of International Law and Politics

'Tim Stephens' book International Courts and Environmental Protection marks a significant moment in the literature on the use of international judicial mechanisms in the field of the environment. As the commentary on the jacket observes, now more than ever judicial processes are among those that may be of vital importance for the protection of the environment. The book's style is direct, accessible and forward-looking. The text is thorough and thoughtful. This book would make a valuable acquisition both for individuals with an academic or practical interest and for law libraries.' Caroline Foster, Review of European Community and International Environmental Law

'It is packed full with both detailed exposition and insightful analysis. Stephens has brought together material from a diverse array of sources and created a work which deserves to be widely and seriously read.' Duncan French, British Year Book of International Law

'Stephens' text is … the only reliable comprehensive exploration of the subject, full stop … [he] shows that there is more going on in international environmental dispute settlement than even many keen observers of the subject of international environmental law might realise. His book is an impressive blend of not only jurisprudence and analytical insight, but also a realistic nuts and bolts explanation of institutional and systemic frameworks. Another reviewer has already opined that '[u]ndoubtedly, this book will become part of required reading for all those interested in international environmental law and adjudication'. I could not agree more.' Don Anton, Australian Year Book of International Law

'Stephens does not simply review, but he masterfully analyzes, assesses, and carefully investigates the effectiveness and usefulness of the varieties of international courts that administer transboundary environmental law in adjudicating transboundary disputes … Stephens has pulled together disparate strands of complex international legal activity surrounding environmental adjudication and organized them into a very readable and thought-provoking monograph. Undoubtedly, this book will become a part of required reading for all those interested in international environmental law and adjudication.' Srini Sitarman, Review of International Organizations

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