Chapter 1: Actors and law-making in international environmental law
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This chapter explores who makes international environmental law and which are the sources of international environmental law? Traditionally, the number of actors with international legal personality is limited. States were primary among this group, followed by international organizations. In recent years, however, considerable international environmental law effectively has been generated by non-governmental organizations, networked communities of experts, and administrative secretariats of treaty organizations. The expansion in the number of actors that, whether de jure or de facto, make international environmental law has diversified the sources of international environmental law. Sources of international law include treaties, custom, general principles of law, and - in a subsidiary sense - judicial decisions and the writings of eminent publicists. However, much of international environmental law is informally generated by soft law - namely that which is not yet or not only law - in particular when it comes to setting norms and defining agendas for formal law-making processes. This Chapter also considers in depth the effects of environmental ethics and philosophies of deep ecology upon the content of international environmental law.