benefit-sharing, biodiversity, equity, justice, Nagoya Protocol, mutual supportiveness, indigenous peoples
This article attempts to bridge the multi-disciplinary debate on environmental justice and the traditional international legal debate on equity with a view to analysing the legal concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing in international law. To that end, the article uses the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity as a testing ground for: i) unpacking different notions of justice that may be pursued through fair and equitable benefit-sharing from access to genetic resources and the use of associated traditional knowledge, and ii) relating different notions of justice to the different functions that equity plays in international law. The aim is to test the potential wider application, in other areas of international law that refer to benefit-sharing, of linking a pluralist notion of environmental justice to different functions of equity. It is argued that this helps systematically unveil implicit legal design choices in relation to the pursuit of justice through international law-making, and interpret international legal instruments in ways that can contribute to negotiate concrete understandings of justice on a case-by-case basis.
Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2015/16