Tag Archives: international law

The Need for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Norm Diffusion: The Case of Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing (L. Parks and E. Morgera)

Authors

Louisa Parks and Elisa Morgera

Keywords

benefit-sharing, international law, environmental law, human rights law, human rights, oceans law, regulation, national law, regional law, indigenous peoples, local communities, norm diffusion, scholarship, conservation, sustainability, natural resources, power asymmetry

Abstract

No systematic study discusses the evolution of fair and equitable benefit-sharing across various areas of international law (environment, human rights, oceans), as well as at different levels of regulation (regional and national laws and guidelines, private law contracts, transboundary codes of conduct, customary laws of indigenous peoples and local communities). This article explores the usefulness of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of norm diffusion for understanding how and why fair and equitable benefit-sharing is articulated in different sites. The article discusses mechanisms, actors and frames in norm diffusion, drawing on literature from sociology, international relations and law. The article uncovers underlying similarities in scholarship on norm diffusion across the disciplines considered. It also reflects on the value of an interdisciplinary approach that encourages legal scholars to consider the implications of power structures in the diffusion of law, while the nuances of legal knowledge may lead other social scientists to revisit accepted findings on norm diffusion. These findings appear particularly useful for informing an assessment of the potential of fair and equitable benefit-sharing to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in a fair and equitable manner in the face of power asymmetries.

Citation

(2015) 24:3 Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law 353-367

Paper

The Need for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Norm Diffusion: The Case of Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing

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Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing at the Cross-roads of the Human Right to Science and International Biodiversity Law (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

right to science, benefit-sharing, equity, international law, biodiversity, human rights

Abstract

As the debate about the need to clarify the content of the human right to science intensifies, this article assesses opportunities for opening a scholarly and policy dialogue on fair and equitable benefit-sharing between international human rights and biodiversity lawyers. To that end, the article contrasts the emerging conceptualizations of the right to science in the context of international cultural rights and of fair and equitable benefit-sharing under international biodiversity law. It then critically assesses the potential for cross-fertilization with specific regard to: the sharing of scientific information and promotion of scientific cooperation, the transfer of technology, and the protection and valorization of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. While acknowledging that both the right to science and fair and equitable benefit-sharing are far from being fully understood or operationalized, the article argues that developments in international biodiversity law concerning the latter may provide insights into how a vague and optimistic concept can (and when it cannot) lead to tangible outcomes, rather than remaining merely rhetorical.

Citation

(2015) Laws 4 pp.803-831

Paper

Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing at the Cross-roads of the Human Right to Science and International Biodiversity Law

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Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights (S. J. Powell)

Author

Stephen J. Powell

Keywords

human rights, ethical obligations, legal quality, power, global harm principle, international law, accountability, human rights violations, transnational corporations, U.S. Alien Tort Statute

Abstract

This article examines whether customs, treaties, and historical facts have caused the ethical human rights obligations of economically powerful states to assume a legal quality. The author argues that the legal quality of these obligations may arise from the global harm principle of international law and human rights obligations found in treaties. As a consequence, states may be held accountable for the human rights violations of transnational corporations. Further, the author examines the possibility of pursuing claims under the U.S. Alien Tort Statute for torts committed in violation of international treaties as another avenue for enforcing human rights obligations.

Citation

(2007) Alberta Law Review 45 (2) pp. 443-56

Paper

Should or Must?: Nature of the Obligation of States to Use Trade Instruments for the Advancement of Environmental, Labour, and Other Human Rights

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Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law (C. Metcalf)

Author

Cherie Metcalf

Keywords

indigenous rights, international law, international environmental law, environmental rights, cultural integrity model, self-determination, recognition, autonomy, state sovereignty, participation, sustainability, sustainable environmental management

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between indigenous peoples’ rights in international law and international environmental law. Two models underlie the protection of indigenous environmental rights. A “cultural integrity” model recognizes indigenous peoples’ environmental rights as a corollary to the protection and preservation of indigenous culture. In the alternative ‘self-determination” model, indigenous peoples’ environmental rights flow from their recognition as distinct communities with an inherent degree of autonomy and control over their own development. Both models have the potential to transform international environmental law. Recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights allows principles of international environmental law to pierce the veil of state sovereignty. The cultural integrity model offers the potential to broaden the legal framework of international environmental law
through the inclusion of human rights instruments. The self-determination model may lead to indigenous peoples’ independent participation in international agreements addressing environmental concerns. There is a crucial difference between the models. The cultural integrity model incorporates a connection between indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management while the self-determination model is based on indigenous peoples’ right to choose their own environmental policy. There is no inherent relationship between recognition of indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management in the latter model. The implications for international environmental law are more uncertain.

Citation

(2003) Ottawa Law Review 35 (1) 103-40

Paper

Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law 

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Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity (E. Morgera et al.)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera, Elsa Tsioumani, Matthias Buck

Keywords

access, benefit-sharing, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, international law, human rights, intellectual property rights, health, food, oceans

Abstract

The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing is an international environmental agreement that concerns environmental sustainability, other sustainable development issues and equity. It addresses a complex subject matter that affects a range of research, development and commercial activities and is relevant to different areas of international law such as human rights, intellectual property rights, health, food and oceans.

Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol identifies textual, contextual and systemic interpretative questions and suggests solutions that aim to give a coherent and balanced meaning to the text of the Protocol. Offering a systematic discussion of the Protocol’s legal innovations against the background of general international law, this commentary aims to be of use to international biodiversity law scholars and practitioners, as well as to international lawyers that approach access and benefit-sharing for the first time

Citation

E. Morgera et al. 2014. Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Martinus Nijhoff.

Paper

Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity

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