LAWS3408/5108 Advanced Public International Law


The main aim of International Environment law is to ensure that regulations and statutes are prepared by the team that can drive the environment towards ecological balance. It is an important aspect so as to conserve, flora and fauna of environment and ensure that a healthy life is led by human beings as well. The essay will help in making comprehensive discussion regarding various laws that has been discussed by International Environment law with respect to resource conservation, reduce deforestation and ultimately initiate sustainable development of various aspects of environment. The essay will then discuss regarding. In the end, various issues that are faced by adoption of International Environment law will also be discussed in detail.

Main Body

Environmental law, which is also known as environmental or natural resources law, it is collective term, which is used in describing statutes, network of treaties, statutes and customary laws, that are being prepared by the government with the aim to address the effects of human activity on natural environment. The core regime of environmental law is the address environmental pollution. The principle focus is made on management of natural resources, such as, minerals, forests and fisheries. Other areas of having specific components as well with may not be included in ether of the category but acts as an important element of environmental law (Nanda and Pring, 2012).

Sustainable development plays an important role in formation of environmental law of any country. It is a type of development which helps in meeting the requirements of present without compromising with the ability to fulfil the needs to future generation as well. Laws are prepared to mandate certain activities and ensure that negative influence on environment has appropriately being minimised which are against its principles. Australian Environment Law have also been prepared so as to ensure that the concept of sustainable development has been taken care of while developing the statutes (Gillespie, 2014).

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The concept of prevention is the other overarching aim that has been considered by the authorities while coming up to multitude of legal mechanism. In this scenario, an assessment of amount of harm being initiated due to indulgence in present activities, is measured. It helps in analysing that what types of laws and statutes are actually required for the country. It also assists in deciding emission limit, licencing and authorization aspects. Other strategies and methods are also adopted by the authorities which helps in deciding operations and consequences of its adaption as well.

Environmental law is considered to be a continuous source of controversy where debates on fairness, necessity and investment required in environmental regulations, keep on going. It is difficult to measure the appropriateness of regulation and make and assessment regarding the type of regulation that must be adopted by team for its better functioning (Bodansky, 2012). Further, fuel is another debatable topic where it has not been assessed by the scientists yet that, whether it is important to ban on particular pesticides or not. Due to distorted facts and figures available with the authorities, it becomes difficult to prepare certain statutes and regulations in Environmental law. Further, it also becomes difficult for them to initiate its implementation.

Another aspect of argument is related to the cost that may be required to fulfil the environmental aspects of the country. It is difficult to assess that what amount of cost will be required by the authorities so as to indulge in the planning and implementation process of environmental related statutes. One of the major uncertainty related to environment is coming up with cost benefit analysis (Kim and Mackey, 2014). It is difficult to make the analysis that whether adequate amount of output can be generated out of it or not. It is hard to assess and quantify the benefits that has been raised through adoption of particular statute in the ecosystem. For instance, if the law being implemented through Environmental law of Australia, that has been able to promote, clean air, healthy ecosystem or bring diversity in the species, it may be difficult to quantify the same in terms of numbers. There are certain ethical and moral dimensions as well which restricts which restricts assessment and issuance of financial cost for particular project to be specified in economic terms (Dellinger, 2012).

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is considered to carry central theme of environmental legislation, which has been issued y Australian government. It has been able to set up legal framework with the principle objective of protection and management of nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and other heritage places that are present in the Australian territory. The statues of environmental law also focus on protection of world heritage properties wetlands of international importance, national heritage properties, other species and ecological communities which are is threat of extinction, migratory species Common wealth marine areas and other related environment, surrounding nuclear activities (De Lucia, 2014).

In the recent times, International law, which has been prepared with respect to environment, have been able to become quite relevant for certain geographical settings. Various nation, including Australia, have also initiated to enter into various treaties, protocols, agreement and conventions. It has actually been initiated under the patronages of United Nations. There are other agreements as well, which are actually legally binding to the nations who indulge in signing the treaty. The treaties that have been enacted in Australia includes, the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances and World Heritage Convention (Gonzalez, 2012). There are various treaties which are not been able to become a part of Environmental law of Australia and hence, its enforceability has not been biding to the citizens of the country. However, the main positive aspects related to these treaties is that these are highly persuasive and hence these are rather more effectively implemented at policy level.

International Environmental law is concerned with an attempt being made to control overall pollution level and make appropriate attempt to protect depletion of natural resources. It is considered to be a positive framework of sustainable development. Environmental law is a branch h of Public international law, which is body of law, that has been created by states so as to govern the issues that may crop up in state territory. There are various topics that have been covered in International Environmental Law (O'Riordan, 2014). These are, climate change, biodiversity, ozone depletion, toxic as well as hazardous substances in land, air, sea and transboundary water pollution, desertification, conservation of marine resources, constant raise is population and nuclear damage. It has been assessed that the output being generated due to minimal follow of legal standards of environment is impressive. However, it has not being strictly applied to the citizens that can help in controlling the issues that are currently being faced by the country.

Since, environmental laws, being prepared are the standard issued by the government with respect to management of natural resources and environmental quality, it is important that they have effectively being implemented on citizens. There is a clear distinction between what is offered by national law and international law. National laws are concerned to country specific issues being faced. Hence, they are able to fulfil the requirements of country in the best possible manner (Biermann, 2017). However, in case of international law, it is concerned to the common issue being faced by the countries and hence it is referred in the public interest. It is due to the reason that international law focus upon relationships and agreement among nations. Based upon the requirements of nation, it can be decided by the country that whether there is any requirement of generating national law or not or following only the international law may help.

One of the declaration of United nations Conference on Human Environment made a representation of first attempt being taken in consideration of global human impact being created on the environment. Further, it has been an international attempt addressing the challenge being faced by the authorities in preserving and enhancing human environment. The policies and objectives are quite broad with the detailed information of each and every aspect. Un website have also been able to provide introductory information regarding the same in a manner that declaration documents have been shared in it for better understanding that implementation in national boundaries. The Rio declaration on Environment and development was also issued by the team in the form of short document United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which is known as Rio earth Summit. It was able to share 27 principles intended to guide future sustainability all around the world (Gonzalez, 2015).

The main issue that has been faced by almost every country these days is related to pollution. In order cope up with the constant generation of issue, laws have been prepared and implemented for better implementation of pollution control measures. Water law being created is related to controlling the overall discharge being released in water bodies, that ultimately leads to water pollution. Water resources can be in the form of surface water, ground water, and stored drinking water. There are certain water quality laws as well, which are adopted by various countries. Water related laws are solely being prepared considering human health that may get affected due to consumption of polluted water.

Other restriction with respected to polluted water have also been initiated by the authorities (Percival and, 2017). It initiates restriction on alteration of physical, radiological, chemical and biological characteristics of water resources. It reflects the efforts being made by the authorities in order to protect physical, chemical, biological and radiological characteristics of water resources. It also helps in initiating overall protection of aquatic ecosystems. The authorities have also been able to initiate regulatory efforts where they identify and categorize different water pollutants, dictate acceptable pollutant discharges from effluent sources. Other regulatory areas include, agricultural and industrial waste water management, sewage treatment and disposal and controlling surface run off from any type of construction site urban environment being affected due to water pollution. The issue being faced by in its appropriate implementation is that, it is difficult to assess in quantifiable terms that to what amount water bodies are being polluted in a particular country. It makes difficult fir them to assess that to what amount, implementation of laws and legislations have helped to keep the water bodies clean (Koivurova, 2013).

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Another aspects related to International law is waste management. It helps in governing transport, treatment, storage, and disposal of waste. The waste can be inclusive of municipal solid waste, nuclear waste and hazardous waste and of many other types that may be harmful for people living in that territory. Waste laws have been designed under International law in order to have proper disposal of waste which can help in minimizing or eliminating uncontrolled dispersal of waste material that can lead to ecological as well as biological harm. Laws have also been designed so as to reduce overall generation of wastes and mandate waste recycling as well. Regular efforts may help in identifying bas and insoluble waste that can have greater impact on environment. International law has also helped in mandating transport, treatment, storage and disposal practices in this regard. However, the main issue being faced in it is related to finding a standardized method where, waste can be recycled and that may not harm the environment and decomposing the one which may prove to be quite beneficial for the soil.

Environmental clean up laws helps governing the removal of pollution and contaminants from various environmental media, such as, sediments, soil, ground water and surface water. These are not similar to the laws that have been created to prevent pollution. These clean up laws are being designed for overall control of environmental contamination in a manner that maximum overall cleanliness can be initiated (International Environmental Law, 2017). Hence, in this scenario, regulatory requirements have been fulfilled through, remedial investigation, site assessment, feasibility studies, post remedial monitoring, remedial actions and site reuse. It helps in initiating minimum wastage of resources and explore optimum utilization of the available ones. The main issues being faced in its acceptance and then its implementation is related to, monitoring aspects, as it is difficult to assign authorities for every region that can monitor change and assess that whether it has appropriately been adopted by people or not.

Other aspect that is related to environmental law is Chemical safety, which is considered to be an important aspect of environment. In this scenario, chemical safety laws have been initiated where, use of chemicals in human activities are being restricted, which can prove to be harmful for the environment. There are other media-oriented laws as well which seeks overall chemical control in order to appropriately manage pollutants. Regular efforts have been made by the authorities to ensure that all the laws related to chemical safety are being fulfilled. In order to initiate these aspects, steps have also been taken to ban the chemicals that may be harmful for the individuals and for the health of ecosystems and environment as well. It helps in ensuring overall sustainability of the environment (Kim and Mackey, 2014).

Another important aspect that has been included in International environmental law is resource sustainability. Environmental impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment criterion that is used. It helps in planning, preparation of policies and programs or assessment of overall actual projects so as to move forward towards the proposed actions. This criterion is generally applied to actual projects by individuals or companies. Administrative procedures are used to govern environmental assessment with respect to documentation and public participation of decision making. Water resources laws helps in governing the overall ownership and use of water resources as well. It is inclusive of both surface water and ground water. Hence, restrictions are made to ensure that pollution in water related resources can be mitigated.

Forest law is the most important governing activities that has been initiated by the international law, whose prime objective is to protect forest lands from any type of issue that can initiate forest management. Ancillary laws are collected to regulate forest and land acquisition aspects in such a manner that it can help in long term sustainability of the forests. These are the multiple use and sustained yield, that can help in managing the resources of public forests. There are government agencies which are responsible to plan and implement forestry laws on various public forest lands. Management aspects may be inclusive of planning, forest inventory and conservation process.

Broader initiatives being taken by the authorities have proved to be helpful in the past so as to save forests It will help in slowing down or reversing the situation of deforestation. However, due to urbanization and lack of availability of land resources, deforestation of forests has been the continuing process. It can be stated that applicability of forest law has been quite difficult to be implemented (De Lucia, 2014). It has also been impacting the overall amount of forest that are available in each territory as well. In this scenario, it is important for the authorities to ensure that stringent preparation and application of the laws are initiated in a manner that maximum output and positive results can be generated out of the laws.

Wild life and plants have been the important resour4ce of each and every country. It not only helps in controlling the overall pollution level in the environment but plays an important role in providing better health aspects to the citizens of the country as well. Any impact on wild life and plants can lead to wildlife degradation. There are various laws and policies prepared to protect plant species which ultimately helps in overall protection of biodiversity. Regulatory efforts for conservation of species is also important for prohibition of harming and killing of disturbed species. Efforts have been made by the authorities to induce speedy recovery of certain species, establishment of wildlife refuges to conserve them and prohibit any type of trafficking that may crop up so as to combat poaching.

It can be stated that environmental laws have been prepared to develop awareness and concern over the issues that can affect the overall ecological balances of various diversities that are existing in the environment. In order to perform this function, various laws have already been initiated by the international which can also be followed by Australia as well so as to conserve the environment from any type of harm (Percival and, 2017). However, the objectives being prepared and planning being derived have not been appropriate enough that, it can fulfil all the stated functions. There are various flaws related to measurement and implementation have been noticed due to which it is not been able to deliver the maximum out of the plan. In this scenario, cost benefit analysis is also an important aspect that is difficult to be assessed by the application of policies and legislation of International Environment law. Another aspect that is related to it is that the application of international law may not be same in every country due to unequal demand of each territory.


It can be concluded from the above essay that, environment is an important aspect that not only ensure healthy living of human being but also helps in assuring that a better and healthy life is led by each and every individual. In order to initiate this, it is important that appropriate ecological balance is created in the environment. Encouraging overall development of environment with the help of statutes and legislation can help in ensuring or initiating adeq2aute ecological balances. Due to distorted facts and figures available with the authorities, it becomes difficult to prepare certain statutes and regulations in Environmental law. Further, it also becomes difficult for them to initiate its implementation. There are various treaties which are not been able to become a part of Environmental law of Australia and hence, its enforceability has not been biding to the citizens of the country.


  • Biermann, F., 2017. A world environment organization: solution or threat for effective international environmental governance?. Routledge.
  • Bodansky, D., 2012. Legitimacy. In The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law. Oxford University Press.
  • De Lucia, V., 2014. Competing narratives and complex genealogies: the ecosystem approach in international environmental law. Journal of Environmental Law. 27(1). pp.91-117.
  • Dellinger, M., 2012. Ten years of the aarhus convention: How procedural democracy is paving the way for substantive change in national and international environmental law. Colo. J. Int'l Envtl. L. & Pol'y. 23. p.309.
  • Gillespie, A., 2014. International environmental law, policy, and ethics. OUP Oxford.
  • Gonzalez, C. G., 2015. Bridging the North-South Divide: International Environmental Law in the Anthropocene. Pace Envtl. L. Rev.. 32. p.407.
  • Gonzalez, C., 2012. Environmental justice and international environmental law.
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