International Environmental Law

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Applying International Environmental Law Conventions in Occupied Territory: The Azerbaijan v. Armenia Case under the Bern Convention

Introduction  On 18 January 2023, Azerbaijan announced that it had launched against Armenia an inter-state case under the dispute settlement provision in the 1979 Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).  Azerbaijan notified the Bern Convention Secretariat of the dispute by letter on 27 March 2023, stating that negotiations would have failed to resolve it and that the dispute had been submitted to arbitration. This is another episode in a fiery exchanges of legal proceedings between the two states, in particular in relation to the contested area of Nagorno-Karabakh. At the time this post is written, there is a pending case brought by Azerbaijan against Armenia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a pending case brought by Armenia against Azerbaijan before the same Court,  a number of inter-state proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, and, most recently, an arbitration initiated by Azerbaijan under the Energy Charter Treaty. Azerbaijan’s Bern Convention initiative has reached mainstream media…

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How could the BBNJ Agreement affect the International Seabed Authority’s Mining Code?

On 4 March 2023, a new treaty text was finalized for an agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement). This historic achievement could change the way we manage and use the ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Once the BBNJ Agreement is formally adopted, a key question will…

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KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland – A New Era for Climate Change Protection or Proceeding with the Status Quo?

Climate change scholars and members of the public are dedicating their attention to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) in Strasbourg, where its first climate change cases are being decided. Currently, three climate cases are pending before the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR: Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland (application no. 53600/20), Carême v.

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Climate Change hearings and the ECtHR

On March the 29th, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held oral hearings in two of the three climate change claims before the Chamber. The two cases are Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland and Carême v. France. Both cases were relinquished to the Grand Chamber last year and the Chamber…

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A Few Reflections on State Responsibility or Liability for Environmental Harm

A lot has been written on the subject of State responsibility / liability for environmental harm. However, in the recent years, the debate has not been as robust as immediately after the rendering of the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in Certain Activities Carried Out By Nicaragua In the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) Compensation…

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