International Environmental Law

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Victim Status before the ECtHR in Cases of Alleged Omissions: The Swiss Climate Case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced on Friday, 29th April, that the Swiss Climate case will be dealt with by the Grand Chamber. In accordance with article 30 of the ECHR, the competent Chamber relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber. This option can be used when the seven judges decide that the case raises ‘a serious question affecting the interpretation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, or where the resolution of a question before the Chamber might have a result inconsistent with a judgment previously delivered by the Court’. The latest development underlines the high-profile the Court is giving that case. In this blog post, I want to focus on a key aspect of the admissibility issues in relation to articles 2 and 8 (the right to life and the right to private life). The question of how the Court will interpret victim status in this case will tell us more about how Court defines its engagement with complex, urgent and large-scale threats…

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Energy Lessons from the Ukraine Crisis

It is a cliché that wars are fought over energy access.  It is just as trite to point out the illegality of military action to secure energy resources for oneself or to deny energy access to adversaries.  As sanctions against Russia and against Ukrainian separatist regions come into focus, energy access again comes front and center.  Germany’s…

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Splashing down the International Space Station in the Pacific Ocean: Safe Disposal or Trashing the Ocean Commons?

The International Space Station (ISS) is reaching its end of life and will need to be disposed of. NASA plans to do so by de-orbiting the ISS and sinking it into a particular area of the Pacific Ocean known as Point Nemo (named after Captain Nemo, the famous character in the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues…

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Will the Morocco-Nigeria Bilateral Investment Treaty Transform Sustainable Development into Hard Law?

The SDGs have now received virtually global endorsement. At the same time, new BITs have emerged which incorporate both the SDGs and the concept of sustainable development. This includes Morocco-Nigeria BIT 2016 (‘the Treaty’) which may prove to be the IIA that transforms sustainable development from a ‘mere’ political commitment or soft law into a hard legal obligation…

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Beyond COP26: Time for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change?

The recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) provided a stark reminder of the gap between states’ planned greenhouse emission reductions and the global temperature goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement. The conference also dramatically showcased once more the plight of vulnerable nations faced with the devastating impacts of rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

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