Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Marine Environmental Law

Research Handbook on International Marine Environmental Law

Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse

This authoritative Handbook examines the current state and the future needs of international law in addressing the key activities that pose threats to the marine environment. Its chapters explore the legal framework for protection of the marine environment, pollution of the marine environment, seabed activities and the marine environment, protection of marine biodiversity, regional approaches to the protection of the marine environment and climate change and the marine environment. Each chapter goes beyond a survey of existing law to identify the shortcomings in the legal regime and areas of critical research needed to address these shortcomings. This book provides significant insights into contemporary issues surrounding the efficacy of the regime created by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and details the further work needed to ensure the design and implementation of effective regulation and management of human activities that affect the marine environment.

Chapter 3: Actors and institutions for the protection of the marine environment

James Harrison

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, public international law


The international legal framework for the protection of the marine environment has seen rapid development in recent decades and there is little doubt that international institutions have played a leading role in this process. This chapter provides an overview of the types of institutions that are active in this field and the different ways in which they are involved in the making and implementation of international marine environmental law. The chapter draws upon both international legal scholarship and relevant theories from international relations, in order to explain the influence of international institutions and other international actors in developing and implementing rules and principles for the protection of the marine environment. Finally, it considers problems that may arise from the multiplicity of institutions that are involved in the protection of the marine environment and it evaluates some of the solutions that have been put forward to counter the fragmentation of the law-making process. The chapter argues that the focus of future research would be better directed towards improving mechanisms for the effective cooperation and coordination of existing institutions, rather than towards the establishment of a new global institution dedicated to all aspects of marine environmental protection.

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