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Book Reviews

RECIEL 17 (2) 2008

the proportionality of the decision and its non-discriminatory application. In addition, a precautionary measure should be subject to review in the light of new scientific data. Because the principle has only been codified so recently in Italian law, a key question is whether and how this will influence Italian case law. In the years to come, it would be worthwhile following up with an elaborated analysis of the way in which the precautionary principle is applied in an equilibrated way in Italian (environmental) law, by legislators, administrative authorities and ­ eventually ­ the courts. Marjan Peeters Associate Professor of Environmental Law Maastricht University, The Netherlands

spective, drawing on insights from other disciplines including philosophy, economics and political science. The editors of the Handbook, Professors Dan Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée and Ellen Hey, are experienced scholars of international environmental law. Apart from their introductory chapter, and three substantive chapters they individually authored, the Handbook, totalling 45 chapters, is a product of nearly 50 other contributors. Any person familiar with editing a volume of even much smaller proportions will appreciate the editors' great accomplishment. In particular, it is refreshing to see many contributors from non-law disciplines, including international relations, economics and political science. However, virtually all of the contributors are from North America and Western Europe; given the Handbook's international subject matter, the absence of developing country-based contributors is a curious omission. The Handbook comprises seven parts. The first canvasses general issues, including a survey of the evolution of international environmental law (Peter Sand), an exploration of its underlying discourses (John Dryzek) and an account of the main formal and informal norms (Stephen Toope). The role of science and technology in shaping these norms and discourses is assessed by Steinar Andresen and Jon Skjaerseth. Various governance issues are also analysed, including administrative processes (Benedict Kingsbury), levels of governance (Jeffrey Dunoff) and policy instrument choices (Richard Stewart). Further, Alan Boyle assesses the international law aspects of environmental problems and their relationship with other domains of international law such as human rights and international trade rules. Part II covers a range of theoretical frameworks through which to analyze the environmental problems

confronting international society and potential solutions to them. Comprising four chapters, this part looks at international relations theory (Kyle Danish), economic theory (Scott Barrett), critical approaches to international environmental law, including feminism and post-colonial scholarship (Karin Mickelson), and ecological ethics (Christopher Stone). Barrett succinctly explains various economic models, which he argues can help policy makers to obtain the best `pay-offs' for solving international environmental threats that require the cooperation of many parties. Stone's chapter addresses an often downplayed issue in international environmental lawmaking, and Stone helpfully links the ethical principles and discourses to specific international environmental problems. The third part of the Handbook offers a more traditional perspective to international environmental law by focusing on basic subject areas, namely atmosphere (Ian Rowlands), ocean and freshwater resources (David Freestone and Salman Salman), biological resources (Rosemary Rayfuse) and hazardous substances and activities (David Wirth). These are vast topics, and each chapter therefore attempts to cover considerable ground. Thus, Rayfuse reviews topics such as fisheries management, wildlife harvesting, trade in endangered species and protection of forests, wetlands and other habitats. Rowlands deals with an equally huge subject, covering the most critical issue of climate change in only five pages. Thus, because of the brief coverage of some issues, the chapters should be treated as introductory gateways for further reading and analysis. Part IV is another dense section, comprising four chapters that consider normative development in international environmental law. Ulrich Beyerlin's chapter considers the various norms available in this

The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, edited by Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée and Ellen Hey, published by Oxford University Press, 2007, 1080pp, £85.00, hardback.

The Oxford Handbook is a significant addition to the already extensive literature on international environmental law. From the assumption that international environmental law has `become a distinct field' of law (at 5), the Handbook aims to take stock of its principal norms, actors, subject matter, instruments and implementation. Unlike some major treatises, the Handbook's primary purpose is stated to be `not to describe in depth the substantive rules' of this field of law, but instead `to analyse the field in more conceptual terms, focusing on issues of structure and process' (at 4). The Handbook also examines international environmental law from a wider policy and theoretical per-

© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


RECIEL 17 (2) 2008

Book Reviews

field of law such as polluter pays, the precautionary principle and intergenerational equity. The propagation of international law rules through customary law (by Pierre-Marie Dupuy) and treaties (by Thomas Gehring) is also evaluated, as one would expect. Finally, Jason Morrison and Naomi Roht-Arriaza analyse the impact of private and quasiprivate standard-setting, one of the most dynamic areas of international environmental law. They appropriately touch on, for instance, the emerging standards for sustainable finance, such as the Equator Principles and the Carbon Disclosure Project (although not the seminal UN Principles of Responsible Investment). Part V, the largest section of the Handbook comprising nine chapters, assesses key theoretical concepts. Some of these concepts are concerned with traditional challenges for international environmental law, namely transboundary impacts (Günther Handl), management of common areas, heritage and concern (Jutta Brunnée) and ecosystems protection (Dan Tarlock). Other chapters address procedural standards and key organizing principles, such as precaution (Jonathan Wiener), sustainable development (Daniel Magraw and Lisa Hawke), equity (Dinah Shelton), environmental rights (John Merrills), public participation (Jonas Ebbesson) and legitimacy (Daniel Bodansky). Arguably the most important of these issues is sustainable development, which is a meta-principle for several of the other concepts. Magraw and Hawke explain the evolution of sustainable development philosophy, exploring the various meanings ascribed to it and evaluating its legal status, including how sustainable development norms have influenced specific tools of international environmental law. Actors and institutions of international environmental law are considered in the eight chapters of Part

VI. Some of the contributors discuss traditional actors of the international legal system, such as States (Thilo Marauhn), international organizations (Ellen Hey), treaty bodies (Geir Ulfstein), the EU (Ludwig Krämer) and non-governmental organizations (Peter Spiro). Other chapters analyse the role of less formally constituted actors, such as epistemic communities, or networks of actors such as scientific groups (Peter Haas), the business sector (Steven Ratner) and indigenous peoples (Russel Barsh). Barsh, for example, considers the status of indigenous peoples in both international law instruments dedicated to indigenous peoples, such as ILO Convention No. 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well in the field of international environmental law itself, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. His and other chapters form a good account of the various roles actors can play in developing international environmental law. The concluding part of seven chapters analyzes the processes for implementation and enforcement of international environmental law. It is a crucial section of the book, for many people judge the effectiveness and value of international environmental law by these criteria. The part is anchored in Ronald Mitchell's important chapter on compliance theory, although several of the other chapters also traverse some of the theoretical perspectives. Some chapters deal with traditional compliance processes, including international responsibility and liability (Malgosia Fitzmaurice), international dispute settlement (Cesare Romano) and national implementation (Catherine Redgwell). Less formal processes are also canvassed, namely technical and financial assistance (Laurence Boisson de Chazournes), monitoring and verification (Jørgen Wettestad) and non-compliance procedures (Jan Klabbers).

Overall, this collection of essays provides a fairly comprehensive and authoritative survey of the international environmental law system. Invariably, given the Handbook's length and numerous contributions, it contains some disparities of style, detail and quality. Some chapters concentrate on legal doctrine, while others are mostly theoretical in content. While the material is reasonably well organized into discrete parts, there is not a great deal of integration of the contributions generally. For example, there are important linkages between the chapters concerning private standardsetting (Morrison and Roht-Arriaza in Part IV) and the business sector as an actor (Ratner, in Part VI) that could be probed further. The Handbook emphasises the distinctive institutional structures and processes through which the system addresses environmental problems. It does not, however, delve deeply into an evaluation of the ultimate effectiveness and achievements of international environmental law. However we may view the institutional coherence and normative elegance of this field of law, we should not lose sight of the fact that despite several decades of relatively intensive international efforts to address biodiversity depletion, atmospheric pollution and other perils, this same period has been the most ecologically destructive era in human history. Judging by the grim reports of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, at best international environmental law has mitigated rather than stopped the mostly negative environmental trends of recent times. Although a book of this size unfortunately is a relatively expensive acquisition, it has a potentially wide readership. Students at both undergraduate and graduate levels should find the material informative and accessible. International policy makers and seasoned scholars in this field should also benefit by including the

© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Book Reviews

RECIEL 17 (2) 2008

Handbook to their libraries. Indeed, for anyone interested in the state of international environmental law, it is very valuable resource. Only the rapidly evolving character of international environmental law will diminish with time the relevance of this significant tome. Benjamin J. Richardson Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto

Law of the Sea, Environmental Law and Settlement of Disputes ­ Liber Amicorum Judge Thomas A. Mensah, edited by Tafsir Malick Ndiaye and Rüdiger Wolfrum, published by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007, 1186pp, £493, hardback.

Some 65 prominent professors, practitioners and thinkers in the law of the sea, environmental law and international law contributed to this Liber Amicorum in honour of Judge Thomas A. Mensah's lifetime of dedication and contribution to international law. The volume is divided into four parts, with contributions in both English and French. Part I contains five articles reflecting on some of the rules and principles of international law, from precaution (by L. Boisson de Chazournes), to the concept of responsibility to protect (by J. Brunnée), to the treatment of inter-governmental organizations and their personnel (by M.C.W. Pinto). Part II is devoted to the functions, rules and procedures of international dispute settlement with a series of articles on, inter alia, provisional measures (by J. Barboza), the role of various institutions in relation to environmental disputes (by L.Y. Fortier, P. Gautier and P. Sands), and admissibility (by M. Kamto) and evidence (by R. Wolfrum) in international adjudication.

Part III, the most extensive of all, is divided into four sections on general issues of the law of the sea, maritime zones, the operation and implementation of the law of the sea through various institutions and the settlement of disputes related to the law of the sea. This part touches upon such issues as the law of the sea and the margin of appreciation (by J.-P. Cot), the treatment of seafarers (by E. Gold), places of refuge for tankers threatening to pollute coastal environments (by M.H. Nordquist), military activities in the exclusive economic zone (by S. Bateman), international straits (by H. Caminos), the suppression of unlawful acts and the International Maritime Organization (by A. BlancoBazán), various aspects of international fisheries law (by W. Edeson, M. Hayashi, T. Treves and J.M. Van Dyke), the role of international litigation in combating sub-standard ships (by R. Churchill) and the 2006 Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago Maritime Delimitation Award (by B. Kwiatkowska). Finally, Part IV addresses environmental law, with seven articles ranging from international approaches to global environmental challenges (by C.E. Di Leva), to the role and evolution of the Global Environment Facility (by D. Freestone), to strict liability in international environmental law (by A. Kiss and D. Shelton). The topics covered in this Liber Amicorum not only address some of the fundamental principles and issues of the law of the sea, environmental law and international dispute settlement, but also offer interesting perspectives and food for thought on some of the emerging issues in those fields. Although fairly comprehensive in its consideration of such emerging issues, the part related to the law of the sea could have benefited from articles on the legal aspects of a range of relatively new uses of the oceans, including bioprospecting, as well as carbon

sequestration and iron fertilization as climate change mitigation measures. The volume is nevertheless a `must have' for any international lawyer, in particular those interested in the law of the sea. Charlotte Salpin Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations

Europe and Global Climate Change, edited by Paul G. Harris, published by Edward Elgar, 2007, 432pp, £95.00, hardback.

One could see Europe's commitment to addressing the challenge of global climate change to some extent as an enigma. After all, the greenhouse gas emission reductions required to avoid dangerous climate change will affect the lifestyles of European citizens, as Europe is still one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the non-ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the USA ­ combined with the absence of legally binding targets for key developing countries such as China and India ­ puts exportintensive European industries at a competitive disadvantage. Finally, even though climate change impacts will hit European nations, they will most likely be able to adapt to these changes. What, then, could reasonably explain European climate change mitigation policies? This question lies at the heart of Europe and Global Climate Change. The book, which is part of a long-term research project undertaken by the editor on the role of foreign policy in environmental protection, seeks to assess the motivations underlying the policies and measures on climate change put in place by both the EU and its Member States through foreign policy analysis. As Harris

© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.



The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law - Edited by Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnée and Ellen Hey

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