The goal of this essay is to sketch how, and with what effect, the problems of corruption and endangered animal trafficking have been linked in international law. To that end, I first compare and contrast the “hard law” legal frameworks on corruption and on animal trafficking. After that, I illustrate how those two regimes have been related in international reports, “soft” (nonbinding) international instruments, and UN Security Council resolutions. Finally, I caution against an automatic merger of these areas of law and agendas for global law reform. Like other transnational criminal laws, the anticorruption treaties have practical limitations, ideological biases, and potentials for unintended consequences. These features qualify their utility as “tools” in the fight for animal welfare. They may also mask the ways in which efforts to prevent and suppress wildlife trafficking are both anthropocentric and sources of human insecurity.
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