International Environmental Law

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EU – New Zealand FTA: Towards a new approach in the enforcement of trade and sustainable development obligations

 On 30 June 2022, the President of the EU Commission and the New Zealand Prime Minister jointly announced the successful termination of the negotiations for the creation of a new free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and New Zealand. As for New Zealand, the commercial liberalization provided by the new FTA would determine a major economic impact since the EU is currently the 4th largest commercial partner of the country. In particular, the tariff elimination planned in the agricultural and seafood sectors would grant to New Zealand’s producers an immediate saving roughly amounting to 110 million dollars per year. On the whole, an annual growth of 1.8 billion dollars is expected in the New Zealand economy by 2035. The scale of the event has a different importance from the perspective of the EU. Even if New Zealand is just ranked 50th among the EU trading partners, the conclusion of the negotiations breathes new life into the EU external commercial policy, and in particular it strengthens the Commission’s Trade for…

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Torres Strait Islanders: United Nations Human Rights Committee Delivers Ground-Breaking Decision on Climate Change Impacts on Human Rights 

In a landmark decision the UN Human Rights Committee found that Australia's failure to adequately protect indigenous Torres Strait Islanders against adverse impacts of climate change was a breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.   The complaint was brought by Daniel Billy, Ted Billy, Nazareth Fauid, Stanley Marama, Yessie Mosby, Keith Pabai,…

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UNHRC is Turning up the Heat: Human Rights Violations Due to Inadequate Adaptation Action to Climate Change  

1. Introduction In its highly anticipated decision in Daniel Billy at al. versus Australia (“Torres Strait Islanders case”), issued on 23 September 2022, the UN Human Rights Committee finds that by failing to implement timely and adequate adaptation measures, Australia is violating CCPR rights of several Australian citizens who are residents of the Torres Strait…

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Struggles to Reconcile Theory and Politics: Comments on the Revised Draft Convention on the Right to Development

The 23rd session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development (IGWG) was held from 16 to 20 May 2022 to discuss the Revised Draft Convention on the Right to Development (RD). This is the second and the latest draft of the convention, after the Zero Draft (ZD) was released in January 2020.

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Ecocide: an Ambiguous Crime?

One year ago, a panel of legal experts convened by the Stop Ecocide International Foundation (Expert Panel) proposed that the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) be amended to expand the ICC’s jurisdiction to include ecocide. To effect this change, the Expert Panel drew up the following definition of the crime of ecocide:…

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