Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law
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Contemporary Issues in International Environmental Law

Malgosia Fitzmaurice

The central aim of this insightful book is to illuminate how many concepts in international environmental law such as the precautionary principle and sustainable development are taken for granted. These problematic issues are very much still evolving and subject to heated debate between scholars as well as between states.
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Chapter 2: Sustainable Development

Malgosia Fitzmaurice


INTRODUCTION Sustainable development, like the precautionary principle, is one of the international environmental law concepts the true nature of which remains mysterious and elusive despite its wide use (or perhaps overuse). This chapter first deals with theories, views of doctrine and international jurisprudence regarding the concept. It further investigates what is the character of this concept in the areas of marine environmental protection, both global and regional (the IMO and the Baltic Sea). II. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS From its inception this concept provoked numerous discussions and arguments. The purpose of this general part is not to examine exhaustively the decisions of courts and tribunals dealing with this concept and the views of doctrine (a task, which is almost impossible to achieve and, anyhow, much has been written about it), but to concentrate on the controversies and difficulties surrounding the character of this concept, as a background to the practical study of its application by the IMO and in the Baltic Sea Area. Much discussion concerning sustainable development has been devoted to its normative value, particularly after the 1992 Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development, adopted at the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development, which has been acknowledged as a codification of the constituent elements of sustainable development,1 a task just as elusive as in the case of the precautionary principle. The Rio Declaration was a result of long evolution, which started in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The Rio Declaration couched 1 See,...

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