Research Handbook on International Environmental Law
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Research Handbook on International Environmental Law

  • Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Malgosia Fitzmaurice, David M. Ong and Panos Merkouris

This wide-ranging and comprehensive Handbook examines recent developments in international environmental law (IEL) and the crossover effects of this expansion on other areas of international law, such as trade law and the law of the sea.
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Chapter 20: Compliance Procedures and Mechanisms

Gerhard Loibl

Extract

Gerhard Loibl Introduction and evolution of compliance procedures and mechanisms In the last decades, implementation of and compliance with international environmental agreements have become central issues.1 These issues raised little concern in the 1970s and early 1980s. As in other areas of international law, international (substantive) rules were adopted and very little focus was put on procedures and mechanisms that would ensure that parties implement and comply with their international obligations, although nearly all international environmental agreements contain provisions on dispute settlement.2 But as the practice of the parties to these agreements demonstrates, they have been used only rarely.3 Only in the late 1980s was consideration given to the elaboration of ‘new and additional’ procedures and mechanisms that would enhance the implementation of and compliance with international environmental agreements by the parties. It is not surprising that this issue was first raised in the negotiations concerning the protection of the ozone layer as it was evident that a party’s failure to fulfil its obligations to reduce and eliminate the production and use of ozone-depleting substances would have negative impacts for the whole globe.4 Although no agreement could be reached on a mechanism to enhance the implementation of and compliance with the Montreal Protocol, it addresses these issues in two provisions. Article 7 obliges parties to report data concerning the production, exports and imports of ozone-depleting substances. Furthermore, Article 8 of the Montreal Protocol contains a provision concerning the establishment of a ‘non-compliance procedure’. This enabling provision states that ‘the parties,...

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