The Role of International Courts and Tribunals in Global Environmental Governance

Air & Space Power Journal Africa & Francophonie, Vol 7, No 3, 2016, pp. 67-81.

International courts and tribunals have experienced strong growth over the last two decades. Many legal scholars as well as non-state actors of various kinds have also argued that a spesific court should be established for global environmental governance. However, so far no such court has been established and it does not seem that one will be established in the foreseeable future. There are many reasons for this, but most importantly, there are no states that has wanted to establsih such a court. In this article the author notes, however, that many existing courts are relevant for environmental issues and some of them have also been applied to deal with such issues. But in general they have had limited significance for the effectiuveness of global environmental governance. Few if any major state actors use these courts to sort out their differences. Other means like diplomacy is more often adherred to. Therefore, even if a specilaized court would be established, the author argues it would probably not make much difference for the effectiness of global environmental governance.

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