Book Review: Adjudicating Climate Change

booK review
aDJuDicating climate change
Edited by William C.G. Burns and Hari M. Osofsky
Reviewed by Scott M. Richey and Karla O. Torres*
* Scott M. Richey is a J.D. Candidate, May 2012, and Karla O. Torres is a J.D./
M.A. Candidate, May 2011, at American University Washington College of Law.
The U. S. Federal Government has been slow in acce pt-
ing and adapting to empirical findings of human affected
climate change. Some, therefore, are turning to the judi-
ciary to affect change. Adjudic ating Climate Change1 is a col-
lection of self-contained essays discussing a range of law suits
brought against those who directly or indirectly produce green-
house gases. The book brings together relevant and topical case
studies of recent litigation, many o f which are also available
online at the Social Science Research Network.2
The book comprises three
sections: subnational, national,
and supranational litigation. The
subn ational sec tion incl udes
case st udies from t he United
States, Australia, and New Zea-
land. Stephanie Stern posi ts in
“State Action as Political Voice
in Climat e Change Policy: A
Case Stud y of the Minnesota
Environme ntal Co st Val uation
Regulation” that litigation, even
under subst antially symbol ic
state statutes, opens d iscourse,
encourag es fur ther l egislation,
and pressures private ac tors to
take vo luntary regulation. She focuses on a M innesota statute
requiring that public utilities report their environmental impact
to a state commission. These reports allow the state to pursu e
utilities with the lowest societal cost. Although no utility pro-
vider has ever been turned down for potentially having too great
an environm ental impact, Stern points out that no utility com-
pany in Minneso ta has applied to construct a hig h-emissions
coal-fired power plant in the ten years si nce enactment of the
The national section pre sents case studies based on fed-
eral litigation. In “Tort-based Climate Litigation,” David A.
Grossman proposes viable tort theories for climate litigation.
The aut hor describes currently pending tort actions for public
nuisance, co mparing them to pollution and hand gun cases. He
then suggests that a products liability action might also be viable
based on claims for failure to warn and design defect. An action
might be brought against a manufacturer for failing to warn con-
sumers of the dangers of climate change resulting from use of
its products. Alternatively, a manufacturer might be found liable
for a design defect if an alternative design with reduced or no
emissions is possible.
Federal district courts, however, have dismissed public nui-
sance a ctions as with in the purview of legislators , not judges,
and the actions are curre ntly pending on feder al circuit court
dockets. Grossman c ontends the Supreme Co urt has affirmed
justici ability in cases where a
producer of noxious pollution in
one state was successfully sued
by those harmed by the nuisance
in an other state and this is suf-
ficiently analogous to producers
of greenhouse gases. Further, he
asserts that the pending actions
do n ot comprise political que s-
tions, but rather a re ordinary
actions in the context of a politi-
cally cha rged problem. Whil e
standing, preemp tion, and jus -
ticiab ility are imped iments to
a plaintiff’s claim s, Gr ossman
seems optim istic in view of
Massachusetts v. EPA,3 in which several states successfully sued
the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to regulate
greenhouse gases.
The book’s final section presents supranational case studies
highlighting how climate change can be addressed in interna-
tional forums. “The Inuit Petition as a Bridge? Beyond Dialects
of Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights,” an essay
by co-editor Hari Osofsky, discusses creative lawyering by Inuit
in the United Sta tes and Cana da who filed a petition with the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2005. They
asserted that the United States contributed a substantial portion
of t he world’s greenhouse g ases but was not taking adequ ate
environmental change
can be affected by
governmental and
nongovernmental actors
through the judiciary
78FALL 2009
policy steps to reduce them, and that the resulting global climate
change p henomenon had significant impacts on the I nuit. The
petition further claimed that these impac ts violated the Inuit’s
rights protected under the In ter-American human r ights sys -
tem, includi ng their rights to life, physical integrity, and secu-
rity. Osofsky suggests that, notwithstanding the petition’s initial
rejection, it generated publicity that may ha ve placed pressure
on states to change their behavior or at least engage in a dialogue
with affected indigenous communities. More importantly, peti-
tions like these reinforce the idea that international human rights
tribunals are appropriat e forums for addressing problems tha t
cut across several legal issues. Echoing one of the book’s goals,
this essay emphasizes how the Inuit petition can serve as a “port
of entry” for making p rogress on climate change and en viron-
mental rights issues.
Adjudicating Climate Change presents an interesting survey
of climate c hange litigation at local, national, and international
levels. The book o ptimistically points out h ow politi cal and
environmental change can be affected by governmental and non-
governmental actors through the judiciary. Further, the e ssays
describe how such litigation works to create dialogue with an d
place pressure on slow moving lawmakers and large producers
of greenhouse gases.
1 aDJuDicating climate change (William C.G. Burns & Hari M. Osofsky
eds., 2009).
2 See Social Science Research Network, (searching for
the author of a chapter from the main webpage will lead to chapters 1-4, 6, 8,
11, 12, 14, and 16) (last visited Oct. 27, 2009).
3 549 U.S. 497 (2007).
Endnotes: Book Review
ENDNOTES: the role of international forumS in the aDvancement of SuStainable Development
continued from page 18
17 Id. §§9.1-22.9 (addressing atmosphere, land resources, deforestation, desert-
ification and drought, mountain ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and rural
development, biological diversity, biotechnology, oceans and seas, fresh waters,
toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes, solid and sewage wastes, and radioactive
18 Id. §§23.1-32.14 (addressing the roles in achieving sustainable development
to be played by women, children and youth, indigenous people, non-govern-
mental organisations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and
industry, science and technology, and farmers).
19 Id. §§33.1-40.30 (addressing financing mechanisms, technology transfers,
science, education, capacity building in developing countries, international
institutional arrangements, international legal instruments, and information for
20 See Id. §§ 39.1-.10.
21 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1771 U.N.T.S.
107, S. Treaty Doc No. 102-38, U.N. Doc. A/AC.237/18 (Part II)/Add.1, 31
I.L.M. 849 (1992), available at
pdf [hereinafter UNFCCC].
22 United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, June 5, 1992, 1760 U.N.T.S.
79, 143; 31 I.L.M. 818 (1992), available at
un-en.pdf [hereinafter UNCBD].
23 United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,
Oct. 15, 1994, 33 I.L.M. 1328, available at
text/pdf/conv-eng.pdf [hereinafter UNCCD].
24 See Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, G.A. Res.
S/19-2, ¶ 109-10, U.N. Doc. A/Res/S-19/2 (Sept. 19, 1997).
25 Ten-Year Review of Progress Achieved in the Implementation of the Out-
come of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
G.A. Res. 55/199, ¶1, U.N. Doc. A/RES/55/199 (Dec. 20, 2000), available
26 Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, Sept. 4, 2000, U.N.
Doc. A/Conf.199/20, ¶ 5, available at
27 Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
Sept. 4, 2002, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.199/20, Annex I, Ch. XI, available at http:// Other significant commit-
ments include: reducing biodiversity loss by 2010; restoring fisheries to their
maximum sustainable yields by 2015; establishing a representative network
of marine protected areas by 2012; improving developing countries’ access to
environmentally-sound alternatives to ozone depleting chemicals by 2010; and
undertaking initiatives to implement the Global Programme of Action for the
protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Sources by 2004. Id.
28 See oSitaDinma anaeDu & larS-goran engfelDt SuStainable Develop-
ment governance ¶3,
3docs/governance30.3.rev1.doc (last visited Nov. 8, 2009) (outlining general
institutional framework necessary to improve sustainable development imple-
29 See marie-claire corDonier Segger & aShfaQ Khalfan, SuStainable
Development law: principleS, practiceS anD proSpectS 18 (Oxford University
Press 2005).
30 UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Johannesburg Declara-
tion on Sustainable Development,
WSSD_POI_PD/English/POI_PD.htm (last visited Nov. 11, 2009).
31 corDonier Segger & aShfaQ Khalfan, supra note 29.
32 M.C. Cordonier Segger et al., Prospects for Principles of International
Sustainable Development Law after the WSSD: Common but Differentiated
Responsibilities, Precaution and Participation, 12 rev. european comty. &
intl envtl. l. 54 (2003).
33 See U.N. GAOR, 46th Sess., Agenda Item 21, U.N. Doc. A/Conf.151/26
(1992), available at
PDF/N9283655.pdf?OpenElement; C.M. Chinkin, The Challenge of Soft Law:
Development and Change in International Law, 38 intl & comp. l.Q. 850
34 philip allot, the health of nationS: Society anD law beyonD the State
308 (Cambridge University Press 2002).
35 Alan Boyle, Soft Law in International Law-Making, in international law
149-53 (M. Evans ed., 2006).
36 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29.
37 Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development
of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Northeast Pacific, art. 3(1)(a)
(2002), available at
38 See UNFCCC, supra note 21, at Preamble (“Recognizing that States should
enact effective environmental legislation . . .”); see also Decision 1/CP.8 Delhi
Ministerial Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, in
report of the conference of the partieS on itS eighth SeSSion, helD at new
Delhi from 23 october to 1 november 2002, u.n. Doc. ccc/cp/2002/7/
aDD.1 (Mar. 28, 2003) (“Resolve that, in order to respond to the challenges
faced now and in the future, climate change and its adverse effects should be
addressed while meeting the requirements of sustainable development . . .”),
available at
39 See generally UNFCCC, supra note 21; Kyoto Protocol to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dec. 10, 1997, U.N. Doc.
FCCC/CP/1997/7/Add.1, 37 I.L.M. 22 (1998), available at
kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php [hereinafter Kyoto Protocol].
40 Id. art. 2(1).
41 UNCCD, supra note 23, art. 2(2).
42 See UNCBD, supra note 22, art. 2 (defining “sustainable use”).
43 See generally International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture, Nov. 3, 2001, available at
[hereinafter FAO Seed Treaty].
44 See SuStainable Development in worlD traDe law (Markus W. Gehring &
Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger eds., 2005); see also marie-claire corDonier
Segger, Sustainable Development in Regional Trade Agreements, in regional
traDe agreementS anD the wto legal SyStem 331-39 (Lorand Bartels &
Federico Ortino eds., 2006) [hereinafter Sustainable Development in Regional
Trade Agreements].
45 Compare wto DeciSion on traDe anD environment (Apr. 15, 1994) with
Draft DeciSion on traDe anD environment (Dec. 13, 1993) MTN.TNC/W/123,
available at
46 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, preamble, Apr.
15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 3, available at
UNTS/Volume%201867/volume-1867-I-31874-English.pdf [hereinafter WTO
47 In international law, in general, the preamble is part of the context in which
the international treaty has to be interpreted. See Vienna Convention on the
Law of Treaties art. 31, May 23, 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S 331. The preamble can
contain important information about the object and purpose of the treaty. Id.
48 Doha Ministerial Declaration, Nov. 14, 2001, U.N. Doc. WT/MIN(01)/
DEC/1, ¶ 7, available at
49 Pascal Lamy, Trade can be a Friend, and not a Foe, of Conservation (Oct.
10, 2005), available at
50 Sustainable Development in Regional Trade Agreements, supra note 44.
51 Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger et al., Prospects for Principles of Interna-
tional Sustainable Development Law after the WSSD: Common but Differenti-
ated Responsibilities, Precaution and Participation, 12 rev. european cmty.
& intl envtl. l. 54 (2003).
52 Our Common Future, supra note 12.
53 lavana raJamani, Differential treatment in international environmen-
tal law 191-212 (Vaughan Lowe ed., Oxford University Press 2006).
54 E.g., Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary v. Slovakia) 1997 I.C.J. 7,
70, 75 (Sept. 25) available at
See also Alan Boyle, Soft Law in International Law-Making in international
law 142 (M. Evans ed., 2006); corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29;
Duncan french, international law anD policy of SuStainable Development
(Manchester University Press 2005); Food & Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations, Law and Sustainable Development Since Rio: Legal Trends
in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, FAO Legislative Study 73
(2002), available at
55 U.N. Comm’n on Sustainable Dev., Div. for Sustainable Dev., Background
Paper: Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Identification of Principles of
International Law for Sustainable Development (Apr. 18-May 3, 1996), avail-
able at
56 Programme of Action for Further Implementation of Agenda 21, G.A. Res.
S-19/2, ¶ 14, U.N. GAOR, 19th Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/S-19/2 (Sept. 19,
1997) available at
57 International Law Association, ILA New Delhi Declaration of Principles of
International Law Relating to Sustainable Development, 2 April 2002, 2 Int’l
Envtl. Agreements: Politics, Law and Econ. 209 (2002).
58 See, e.g., international law anD SuStainable Development: principleS
anD practice (Nico Schrijver & Freidl Weiss eds., Martinus Nijhoff Publish-
ers 2004) 1-152, 699-706; corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra 29; Duncan
french, international law anD policy of SuStainable Development (Man-
chester University Press 2005).
59 Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Significant Developments in Sustainable
Development Law and Governance: A Proposal, 28 Natural Res. Forum 61
(2004); Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger et al., Prospects for Principles of
International Sustainable Development Law after the WSSD: Common but Dif-
ferentiated Responsibilities, Precaution and Participation, 12 rev. european
comty. & intl envtl. l. 54 (2003).
60 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29 (arguing that both central
norms highlighted by this principle have been recognized as rules of customary
international law). See also Kathleen Bottriel & Duncan French, The Duty of
States to Ensure Sustainable Use of Natural Resources: Recent Developments
in International Law Related to Sustainable Development (CISDL Legal Work-
ing Papers 2005), available at
61 See UNCBD, supra note 22, arts. 3 & 10.
62 See UNCCD, supra note 23, arts. 3(c), 10.4, 11, 17.1(a), 19.1(c) & (e).
63 WTO Agreement, supra note 46.
64 FAO Seed Treaty, supra note 43.
65 eDith brown weiSS, in fairneSS to future generationS: international
law, common patrimony, anD intergenerational eQuity 17-26 (Transnational
Publishers 1989).
66 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29 (arguing that while this princi-
ple guides a significant number of social and other treaties related to sustainable
development, it has not yet been recognized as a customary rule, due in part to
difficulties in identifying with certainty the needs of future generations and a
lack of consensus between States on actual obligations related to distributional
justice). See also Jarrod Hepburn & Ashfaq Khalfan, The Principle of Equity
and the Eradication of Poverty, (CISDL Legal Working Papers 2005), avail-
able at
67 See UNCBD, supra note 22, art. 15.7.
68 UNFCCC, supra note 21, art. 3 (1992).
69 UNCCD, supra note 23, art. 16(g), 17.1(e).
70 FAO Seed Treaty, supra note 43, arts. 1.1, 10, 13.
71 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29, at 132-43 (arguing that while
this principle guides a significant number of treaties related to sustainable
development, it has not yet been recognized as a customary rule, due in part to
a lack of consensus between States on the extent of greater responsibility by
developed countries); see also Jarrod Hepburn & Imran Ahmad, The Principle
of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, 4-5 (CISDL Working Paper),
available at
72 UNFCCC, supra note 21.
73 Kyoto Protocol, supra note 39.
74 UNCCD, supra note 23.
75 FAO Seed Treaty, supra note 43, arts. 7.2(a), 8, 15.1(b)iii, 18.4(d).
76 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29, at 143-55 (suggesting that a
good argument can be made that this principle is emerging as an international
customary rule to address certain specific problems related to health, eco-
systems, and natural resources); see also Hepburn et al., supra note 71, at 17.
77 UNCBD, supra note 22.
78 United Nations Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, opened for signature May
15, 2000, available at
[hereinafter UNCPB].
79 unfcc, supra note 21.
80 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain
Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, opened for signa-
ture Sep. 10, 1998, available at
81 Appellate Body Report, European CommunitiesMeasures Concerning
Meat and Meat Products WT/DS26/AB/R, WT/DS48/AB/R (Jan. 16, 1998)
(adopted Feb. 13, 1998).
80FALL 2009
82 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29, at 156-66 (noting that
participation, including access to information and justice, is one of the most
recognized and operationalized principles of treaty law on sustainable develop-
ment, but may only be emerging as an international customary obligation
between States, as consensus has mainly focused on its relevance in national
decision-making); see also Kathleen Bottriel & Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger,
The Principle of Public Participation and Access to Information and Justice,
(CISDL Legal Working Paper), available at
83 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-
Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, opened for signature
June 25, 1998, 38 I.L.M. 517, available at
84 See generally UN Human Rights Council, available at http://www2.ohchr.
85 UNCBD, supra note 22.
86 UNCPB, supra note 78.
87 UNCCD, supra note 23.
88 North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, Dec. 8, 1993,
32 I.L.M. 1480, available at
89 FAO Seed Treaty, supra note 43, art. 9.2(c).
90 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29, at 166-70 (arguing that while
this principle is becoming increasingly influential in international discourse, it
is doubtful that it would be recognized as a customary rule due to lack of con-
sensus among States on its actual meaning, normative character, and practical
implications); see also Nupur Chowdhury & Corinne Elizabeth Skarstedt, The
Principle of Good Governance, 20 (CISDL Legal Working Paper), available at
91 United Nations Convention Against Corruption, opened for signature Dec.
9 2003, 43 I.L.M. 37, available at
92 Id. at art. 5.1.
93 Id. at art. 62.1.
94 unccD, supra note 23.
95 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, princ. 4, G.A. Res.
47/190, Annex, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. I) (Aug. 12, 1992).
96 corDonier Segger & Khalfan, supra note 29, at 102-09 (suggesting that
if formulated as a norm to regulate sustainable development-related decision-
making processes, such as that States “must ensure that social and economic
development decisions do not disregard environmental considerations and not
undertake environmental protection without taking into account relevant social
and economic implications,” this principle is highly likely to be recognized as
a rule of customary international law); see also Sébastien Jodoin, The Principle
of Integration, 26 (CISDL Legal Working Paper), available at http://www.
97 uncbD, supra note 22.
98 FAO Seed Treaty, supra note 43, art. 5.1.
99 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade art. XX, Oct. 30, 1947, 55
U.N.T.S. 187, available at
100 North American Free Trade Agreement, Dec. 8, 1993, 32 I.L.M. 1519, avail-
able at
101 See Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros, supra note 54, at 140.
102 See Nuclear Tests Case (Australia v. France) 1974 I.C.J. 253, 341-44 (Dec.
20), available at
103 See Kasikili/Sedudu Island (Botswana v. Namibia) 1999 I.C.J, 1045, 1087-
88 (Dec. 13), available at
104 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) 2007 I.C.J.
135, 180.
105 See Iron Rhine (“Ijzeren Rijn”) Railway Case (Belg. v. Neth.) Perm. Ct.
Arb. 1, 28-29, 49 (2005), available at
106 Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros, supra note 54, at 140.
107 Id. (emphasis added).
108 Id. at 85.
109 Iron Rhine, supra note 105, at 67-69.
110 Id.
111 Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros, supra note 54, at 140.
112 Id.
113 Iron Rhine, supra note 105, at 67-69.
114 Id. at 90 (emphasis added).
115 in “the inverse sense” as well.
116 Pulp Mills, supra note 104, at 30-31 (Verbatim Record of the Public sitting
held on Thursday 8 June 2006, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace), available at
117 Id.
118 Id. at 80.
119 See, e.g., Robert Howse, The Appellate Body Rulings in the Shrimp/Turtle
Case: A New Legal Baseline for the Trade and Environment Debate, 27
colum. J. envtl. l. 491 (2002); Howard. F. Chang, Toward A Greener GATT:
Environmental Trade Measures and the Shrimp-Turtle Case, 74 S. cal. l.
rev. 31 (2000); Petros. C. Mavroidis, Trade and Environment after the Shrimp-
Turtles Litigation, 34 J. worlD traDe 73 (2000).
120 Retrospective Analysis of the 1994 Canadian Environmental Review - Uru-
guay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (Dep’t of Foriegn Affairs and
Int’l Trade, Ottawa 1999).
121 WTO, United States: Shrimps–Panel Report XXX 161.
122 Id. at 284.
123 GATT XX (g).
124 WTO, United States: Shrimps–Appellate Body Report at 12.
125 WTO, United States: Shrimps–Panel Report at 3.146 (emphasis added).
126 United States-Restrictions on the import of Tuna (1991) GATT BISD
39S/155, (1991) 30 ILM 1594.
127 D. Palmeter and P.C. Mavroidis, ‘The WTO Legal System: Sources of Law’
92 AJIL 398, 402 (1998).
128 WTO, United States: Shrimps–Panel Report at 7.52.
129 Id.
130 Note 107, in the Appellate Body Report, reads “This concept has been gen-
erally accepted as integrating economic and social development and environ-
mental protection,” WTO, United States: Shrimps–Appellate Body Report. See
e.g., G. Handl, Sustainable Development: General Rules versus Specific Obli-
gations, in w lang (eD), SuStainable Development anD international law 35
(1995); Our Common Future, supra note 12, at 43.
131 WTO, United States: Shrimps–Appellate Body Report at 123.
132 Id. (emphasis added).
133 ECHR 9 December 1994 Lopez Ostra v. Spain 20 EHRR [1995] 277; ECHR
19 February 1998 Guerra v. Italy 26 EHRR 357 [1998] 357; ECHR 9 June 2005
Fadeyeva v. Russia EHRR[2005] 376; ECHR 10 November 2004 Taskin v.
Turkey 42 EHRR [2006] 50.
134 Fredin v. Sweden (1991) ECHR Sers. A/192; ECHR 8 July 2003 Hatton v.
UK [2003] 37 EHRR 611 (Grand Chamber).
135 See Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community v Nicaragua (2001), Inter-AM
Ser. C, No. 79; Maya Indigenous Community of the Toledo District v. Bel-
ize, Case 12.053, Report No. 40/04, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.122
Doc. 5 rev. 1 at 727 (2004); Yanomani Indians v. Brazil, Decision 7615, Inter-
Am.C.H.R., Inter-American YB on Hum.Rts. 264 (1985). Several other claims
have been held admissible: Yakye Axa indigenous community of the Enxet-Len-
gua people v. Paraguay, Case 12.313, Report No. 2/02, Inter-Am. C.H.R., Doc.
5 rev. 1 at 387 (2002); The Kichwa Peoples of the Sarayaku community and its
members v. Ecuador, Case 167/03, Report No. 62/04, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/
Ser.L/V/II.122 Doc. 5 rev. 1 at 308 (2004).
136 The Social and Economic Rights Action Center and the Center for Economic
and Social Rights v. Nigeria, ACHPR, Communication 155/96 (2002).
137 Ilmari Lansman v. Finland, (1996) ICCPR Communication No. 511/1992.
5 See generally Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons, 162 Science
1243 (1968) (describing a dilemma in which the combined effect of multiple
individuals acting in their own self interest diminishes the value of a shared
limited resource, even when this result is not in any individual’s best interest in
the long run).
6 Compl. at 4, Hood v. City of Memphis, 533 F. Supp. 2d 646 (N.D. Miss.
2008) (No. 2:05CV32-D-B).
7 Id. at 6-7.
8 Id. at 6-7.
9 SuSan S. hutSon et al., uS geological Survey, eStimateD uSe of water
in the uniteD StateS in 2000, 40 (2005), available at
circ/2004/circ1268/pdf/circular1268.pdf (providing time series data on water
consumption by source used to calculate percentage changes).
10 national grounD water aSSociation, grounD water: a critical com-
ponent of the nationS water reSourceS 1 (2004), available at http://www.
ENDNOTES: the importance of regulating tranSbounDary grounDwater aQuiferS continued from page 19
11 See Department of the interior, u.S. geological Survey, effectS of
climate variability anD change on grounDwater reSourceS of the uniteD
StateS, available at
12 See Depletion, supra note 3, at 2 (explaining that poor-quality surface water
can be drawn into an aquifer and effectively contaminate the aquifer as a whole
and that pumping may cause salt water to migrate into a freshwater aquifer
located in a coastal zone).
13 Food and Water Watch, supra note 4, at 2-3 (illuminating the intercon-
nectedness of the hydrological system such that a decrease in the water level
of an underground aquifer also causes a drop in the water level of surrounding
streams, rivers, lakes, and other water features).
8 See, e.g., Mike Berry & Anitra Nelson, Steering Sustainability: What, When,
and Why, in Steering SuStainability in an urbaniZing worlD: policy practice
anD performance 1, 2-3 (Anitra Nelson ed., 2007) (explaining the national
policy and reform considerations behind urban sustainability); James R. May,
The North American Symposium on the Judiciary and Environmental Law:
Constituting Fundamental Environmental Rights Worldwide, 23 pace envtl. l.
rev. 113, appenDiX b (2005/2006) (listing countries that have constitutionally
entrenched environmental policies as governing principles, some including sus-
9 See, e.g., Virginia MacLaren et al., Engaging Local Communities in Envi-
ronmental Protection with Competitiveness: Community Advisory Panels in
Canada and the United States, in SuStainability, civil Society anD interna-
tional governance 31, 36 (John J. Kirton & Peter I. Hajnal eds., 2006) (exam-
ining examples of Community Advisory Panels in the United States and Canada
and how they affect sustainability in the communities).
10 See, e.g., Isabelle Biagiotti, Emerging Corporate Actors in Environment and
Trade Governance: New Vision and Challenge for Norm-setting Processes, in
participation for SuStainability in traDe 121, 122 (Sophie Thoyer & Benîot
Martimort-Asso eds., 2007) (describing how global corporations are focusing
more on environmental sustainability).
11 See generally James R. May, Of Development, daVinci and Domestic Leg-
islation: The Prospects for Sustainable Development in Asia and its Untapped
Potential in the United States, 3 wiDener l. Symp. J. 197 (1998).
12 See Roslyn Higgins, Natural Resources in the Case Law of the International
Court, in international law anD SuStainable Development 87, 111 (Alan
Boyle & David Freestone, eds., 1999) (using the International Court of Justice
to highlight environmental sustainability in international courts and other are-
13 See generally James R. May, U.S. Supreme Court Environmental Cases
2008-2009: A Year Like No Other, 40 Env’t Rep. (BNA), No. 36, at 2154 (Sept.
11, 2009); James R. May, U.S. Supreme Court Decisions: Review for 2006-
2007 and Outlook, 38 Env’t Rep. (BNA), No. 34, at 1851 (Aug. 24, 2007). See
also, Constitutional Law: 2008 Annual Report, in environment, energy, anD
reSourceS law: the year in review 2008 349 (ABA Section of Env’t, Energy
& Resources 2009) (survey of environmental cases); James R. May, Consti-
tutional Law: 2007 Annual Report, in environment, energy, anD reSourceS
law: the year in review 2008 349 (ABA Sec. of Env’t, Energy & Resources
14 See Richard Lazarus, Restoring What’s Environmental About Environmental
Law in the Supreme Court, 47 UCLA L. Rev. 703, 708 (2000) (estimating the
Court decided more that 240 environmental law cases between 1969 and 2000);
see also, James R. May, The Intersection of Constitutional Law and Envi-
ronmental Litigation, in environmental litigation: law anD Strategy 359
(Cary R. Perlman ed., ABA 2009) (number approaching 300); James R. May &
Robert L. Glicksman, Justice Rehnquist and the Dismantling of Environmental
Law, 36 Envtl. L. Rep.10585 (2006).
15 In 2009, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor replaced David Souter.
16 Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, 129 S. Ct. 365 (2008).
17 Id. at 367.
18 Natural Res. Def. Council v. Winter, 518 F.3d 658 (9th Cir. 2008).
19 Winter, 129 S. Ct. at 375.
20 Id. at 374.
21 Id. at 380.
22 Id. at 381.
23 Id. at 378.
24 Id. at 370.
25 Id.
26 Id. at 371.
27 Id. at 378.
28 Id. at 380.
29 Id. at 370, 378.
30 Id. at 378.
31 Id. at 374.
32 Id. at 393 (Ginsberg, J., dissenting).
33 Id. at 392.
34 Id. at 393.
35 Id. at 386-87 (Breyer, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).
36 Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1498 (2009).
37 Id. at 1510.
38 33 U.S.C. § 1326(b).
39 129 S. Ct. at 1505-06.
40 Id. at 1506.
41 Id. at 1508.
42 Id.
43 Id. at 1516 (Stevens, J., dissenting).
44 Id. at 1517-18.
45 Id. at 1519.
46 Id. at 1517.
47 Id. (quoting Whitman v. Am. Trucking Assn’s, 531 U.S. 457, 467-68 (2001)
(Scalia, J.)).
48 See Id. at 1516.
49 Id. at 1512 (Breyer, J., concurring).
50 Id. at 1513 (quoting 118 Cong. Rec. 33693 (1972)).
51 See Id.
52 Nat’l Ass’n of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife, 551 U.S. 644 (2007).
53 Id. at 649.
54 Id.
55 Dep’t of Transp. v. Public Citizen, 541 U.S. 752 (2004).
56 Tennessee Valley Auth. v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153 (1978).
57 Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Se. Alaska Conservation Council, 129 S. Ct. 2458
58 Id. at 2463.
ENDNOTES: not at all: environmental SuStainability in the Supreme court continued from page 29
82FALL 2009
59 Id. at 2463-64.
60 See 40 C.F.R. § 440.104(b)(1); 33 C.F.R. § 323.2(e).
61 40 C.F.R. § 232.2.
62 See Alaska Conservation Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng’rs, 486 F.3d
638, 647 (9th Cir. 2007).
63 Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837
64 United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218 (2001).
65 129 S. Ct. at 2465.
66 Id.
67 Id. at 2483.
68 Id. at 2480, n.1.
69 See Id. at 2477-78.
70 Summers v. Earth Island Inst., 129 S. Ct. 1142 (2009).
71 Id. at 1149-53.
72 Id. at 1147.
73 Id.
74 Id. at 1147-48.
75 Id. at 1148.
76 Earth Island Inst. v. Pengilly, 376 F. Supp.2d 994 (E.D. Cal. 2005).
77 Earth Island Inst. v. Ruthenbeck, 490 F.3d 687, 697-98 (9th Cir. 2007).
78 129 S. Ct. at 1149-50.
79 Id.
80 Id. at 1150.
81 Id. at 1150-51.
82 Id. at 1154.
83 Id. at 1157.
84 Id.
85 Id. at 1156.
86 Id. (citing Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497, 522-23 (2007)) (emphasis in
87 BNSF Ry. Co. v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1870 (2009).
88 Id. at 1881.
89 Id. at 1877.
90 Id.
91 Id. at 1878.
92 Id. at 1879.
93 Id. at 1878.
94 Id. at 1879.
95 Id. at 1880.
96 Id. at 1878-79.
97 Id. at 1882-83.
98 Id. at 1885 (Ginsberg, J., dissenting).
99 Id.
100 Id.
101 Id.
102 Id.
103 Id.
104 Id.
105 United States v. Atl. Research Corp., 127 S. Ct. 2331 (2007).
106 See also E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. United States, 551 U.S. 1129
107 Cooper Indus. v. Aviall Servs., 543 U.S. 157 (2004).
108 United Haulers Ass’n v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Mgmt. Auth., 550
U.S. 330 (2007).
109 Id. at 334.
110 Philadelphia v. New Jersey, 437 U.S. 617 (1978).
111 C & A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, 511 U.S. 383 (1994).
112 550 U.S. 330 at 332.
113 Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007).
114 Id. at 533, 534.
115 Id. at 501.
116 Id. at 560.
117 Envtl. Def. v. Duke Energy Corp., 549 U.S. 561 (2007).
118 Id. at 576.
119 Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972).
120 Based on the author’s search of cases, briefs, and transcripts of the search
terms “sustainability,” “sustainable development,” and “ecologically sustain-
able development,” on Westlaw (last searched Nov. 9, 2009), and on the U.S.
Supreme Court database, (last visited Nov. 9,
121 One amicus brief makes a passing reference to “sustainability.” Brief of
economists Frank Ackerman, et al. as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents
at 14, Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., 129 S. Ct. 1498 (2009) (Nos. 07-588,
07-589, 07-597) (“When such goals are recognized as politically- or norma-
tively-imposed constraints, economic theory evaluates them under frameworks
that are analytically distinct from conventional cost-benefit optimization. For
instance, an extensive economic literature exists analyzing environmental and
natural resource decisionmaking under “sustainability” or “safe minimum stan-
dard”). Other than incorporation of the word “sustainable” in corporate titles or
mission statements in briefs filed before the Court, this is the sole tenable refer-
ence found to the word “sustainability,” “sustainable development,” “ecologi-
cally sustainable development,” and like phrases.
ENDNOTES: environmental litigation StanDing after maSSachuSettS v. epa: center for biological
DiverSity v. epa continued from page 30
1 Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. EPA, Case No: 2:09cv00670 (W.D. Wash.
filed May 14, 2009).
2 Id. at 5.
3 Id.
4 Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497, 536-535 (2007).
5 Jonathan H. Adler, Warming Up to Climate Change Litigation, 93 va. l.
rev. in brief 63, 66 (2007), available at
6 Adler, supra note 5 at 68; Mass., 549 U.S. at 518.
7 Mass., 549 U.S. at 518.
8 See, e.g., Comer v. Murphy Oil, No: 07-60756, 2009 WL 3321493 at 2 (5th
Cir. Oct. 16, 2009) (holding that plaintiffs had standing to assert their public
and private nuisance, trespass, and negligence claims); Connecticut v. Am.
Elec. Power, Nos. 05-5104-cv, 05-5119-cv, 2009 WL 2996729 at 32 (2d Cir.
Sept. 21, 2009) (holding that plaintiffs had standing to maintain their nuisance
claim); Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. DOI, 563 F.3d 466 at 479 (D.C. Cir.
2009) (holding that petitioner established procedural standing for the OCSLA
and NEPA based climate change claims).
9 Ctr. for Biological Diversity, Case No: 2:09cv00670 at 7.
10 Clean Water Act § 303(d), 33 U.S.C. § 1313(d)(2) (2008)
11 Ctr. for Biological Diversity, Case No: 2:09cv00670 at 13.
12 Id.
13 Id. at 14.
14 Id.
15 Ctr. for Biological Diversity, Case No: 2:09cv00670 at 14.
16 Id.
17 Id.; Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(a) (2008).
18 Ctr. for Biological Diversity, Case No: 2:09cv00670 at 15.
19 American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, H.R. 2454, 111th Cong.
ENDNOTES: courtS aS championS of SuStainable Development: leSSonS from eaSt africa continued from page 38
28 COnstitutiOnavailable at
29 
see generallyenvirOnmental law institute & un envi-
rOnmental prOgramme, COnstitutiOnal envirOnmental law: giving FOrCe tO
FunDamental prinCiples in aFriCa (.
30 COnstitutiOn supra
31 Id
32 Id
33 Id
34 Id
35 Id
36 SeeThe Role of the Judiciary in Promoting Sustainable
Development: The Experience of Asia and the asia paCiFiC JOurnal
OF envirOnmental law
37 SeeJoseph D. Kessy and others v. The City Council of Dar es Salaam,
Waweru v.
38 COnstitutiOn supra 
39 Id
40 COnstitutiOn supra
41 
seemaKau mutua,
Kenyas Quest FOr DemOCraCy: taming the leviathan 
see also willy mutunga, COnstitutiOn-maKing FrOm the miDDle:
Civil sOCiety anD transitiOn pOlitiCs in Kenya, 1992–1997
42 
available at
43 See , Central MPs Tie Boundaries to ConstitutionCapi-
tal newsavailable at 
44 Concept, Function and Structure of Environmental Law
in envirOnmental gOvernanCe in Kenya, supra 
45 
46 supra
47 
48 suprasupra
49 suprasupra
50 suprasupra
51 suprasupra
52 
seeKenyain the rOle OF the JuDiCiary in envi-
rOnmental gOvernanCe: COmparative perspeCtives 
Ugandain the rOle OF the JuDi-
Ciary in envirOnmental gOvernanCe: COmparative perspeCtives 
Tanzaniainthe rOle OF
the JuDiCiary in envirOnmental gOvernanCe: COmparative perspeCtives 
53 SeeCOnstitutiOn supra
54 COnstitutiOnsupra
55 COnstitutiOnsupra
56 
57 
58 COnstitutiOnsupra
59 Id
60 Id
61 Id
62 Id
63 Id
64 Id
65 supra 
66 Seesupra
67 See
68 COnstitutiOnsupra
69 Id
70 Seesee also
71 COnstitutiOnsupra 
72 
73 
74 
75 COnstitutiOnsupra
76 Id
77 Id
78 See
79 COnstitutiOnsupra
80 supra
81 Id
82  supra 
83 Id
84 Id
85 Id
86 supra
87 See supra
88 Id
89 SeeThe Role of Administrative Dispute Resolution Institu-
tions and processes in Sustainable Land Use Management: The Case of the
National Environment Tribunal and Public Complaints Committee of Kenya
inlanD use law FOr sustainaBle DevelOpment
90 supra
91 Seesupra
92 SeesupraSeegenerallysupra
93 supra
94 Id
95 See 
96 
available at 
97 
98 Cf.
99 Dr. Bwogi Richard Kanyereziv.The Management Committee Rubaga Girls
100 Id
101 Id
102 Id
103 eli & unep, supra
84FALL 2009
104 
105 eli & unep, 
106 
107 
108 
109 
110 
111 
112 
113 
114 
115 
116 
117 
118 m.O. maKOlOOet alpuBliC interest envirOnmental litigatiOn in
Kenya: prOspeCts anD Challenges
119 
120 maKOlOO
121 
122 
123 
124 
125 
126 
127 
128 
129 
130 
131 
132 
133 maKOlOO
134 
135 
136 
137 
138 
139 
140 
141 
142 
143 
144 
145 
in lanD we trust: envirOnment, private prOperty anD COnstitu-
tiOnal Change
146 
147 
148 
149 
150 
151 
152 
153 
154 
155 
156 
157 
158 DaviD hunter et al.internatiOnal envirOnmental law anD pOliCy
159 
160 
161 
162 
163 
164 
165 
166 
167 
168 
169 DurwOOD zaelKe et al.maKing the law wOrK, (vOlumes i anD ii) -
envirOnmental COmplianCe & sustainaBle DevelOpment
170 
171 
Kenyan law review
172 
173 
174 
175 
176 
177 natiOnal COunCil FOr law repOrtingKenya law repOrts (envirOnment
& lanD) (2006),
1 See Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hung. v. Slovk.), 1997 I.C.J. ¶ 140
(Sept. 25, 1997) [hereinafter Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project], available at See also John Martin Gillroy,
Adjudication Norms, Dispute Settlement Regimes and International Tribunals:
The Statue of “Environmental Sustainability” in International Jurisprudence,
42 Stan. J. intl l. 1, 27-30 (describing the ICJ’s recognition of sustainable
development as a concept in international law that had to be taken into account
by both states in their resolution of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros case); see also
Phillipe Sands, International Courts and the Concept of “Sustainable Develop-
ment”, in 3 maX planK yearbooK of uniteD nationS law 389 (Armin von
Bogdandy & Rudiger Wolfrum eds.) (1999), available at
shared/data/pdf/pdfmpunyb/sands_3.pdf .
2 KlauS boSSelmann, the principle of SuStainability: tranSforming law
anD governance 69 (Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 1988).
3 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.) (Arg. Application Insti-
tuting Proceedings) 3 (May 4, 2006), available at
4 See Legality of the Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in an Armed Con-
flict, Advisory Opinion, 1996 I.C.J. 67 (July 8), available at http://www.icj-cij.
5 See Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dam Case, 1997 I.C.J. at ¶ 18.
6 See id. at ¶ 21.
7 See id. at ¶ 17.
8 See id. at ¶ 22.
9 See id. at ¶ 23..
10 See id. at ¶ 24 (noting that on October 28, 1992, the parties agreed to submit
the dispute to the ICJ).
ENDNOTES: the international court of JuSticeS treatment of “SuStainable DevelopmentanD implicationS
for argentina v. uruguay continued from page 40
11 See Prue Taylor, Case concerning the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project: A
Message from the Hague on Sustainable Development, 3 n.Z. J. envtl. l. 109,
114 (1999).
12 See Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dam Case, 1997 I.C.J. at ¶ 140.
13 Gillroy, supra note 1, at 29.
14 Taylor, supra note 11, at 110.
15 Jorge E. Viñuales, The Contribution of the International Court of Justice to
the Development of International Environmental Law: A Contemporary Assess-
ment, 32 forDham intl l.J. 232, 254 (2008).
16 Press Release, International Court of Justice, Pulp Mills on the River Uru-
guay (Argentina v. Uruguay.): Conclusion of the public hearings: Court begins
its deliberations, U.N. Doc. 2009/28 (Oct. 2, 2009), available at http://www.
17 See Fernando Cabrera Diaz, Oral arguments held in ICJ dispute over pulp
mills on the River Uruguay, inveStment treaty newS, October 2, 2009, avail-
able at
18 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.), 4 (Summary of
the Order of July 13, 2006), available at
19 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.), 55 (Counter-Memo-
rial of Uru. of July 20, 2007), available at
20 See id.
21 See Viñuales, supra note 15, at 254.
22 See Adriana Koe, Damming the Danube: The International Court of Justice
and the Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary v Slovakia), 20 SyD. l. rev.
612 (1998).
23 See Viñuales, supra note 15, at 254.
1 U.N. Educ., Scientific, & Cultural Org. [UNESCO], World Water Assess-
ment Programme, The United Nations World Water Development Report 3:
Water in a Changing World, 150, U.N. Doc. R551.46/49 WAT, (2009).
2 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.) (Arg. Application Insti-
tuting Proceedings) (Submitted May 4, 2006), 3, available at http://www.icj-cij.
3 See id. at 5-7.
4 See id. at 11, 17.
5 See Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.) (Uruguay Request for
Provisional Measures) (Submitted November 30, 2006), 2-3, available at http://
6 See id. at 4.
7 See id.
8 Press Release, International Court of Justice, Pulp Mills on the River Uru-
guay (Argentina v. Uruguay): Conclusion of the public hearings: Court begins
its deliberations, U.N. Doc. 2009/28 (Oct. 2, 2009), available at http://www.
9 Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.) (Requests for the Indication
of Provisional Measures) (Order of July 13, 2006), 21, available at http://www.;
Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Request for Indication of Provisional Mea-
sures) (Order of January 23, 2007), 14, available at
ENDNOTES: iS the international court of JuStice the right forum for tranSbounDary water
pollution DiSputeS? continued from page 39
10 See Pieter H.F. Bekker, Argentina-Uruguay Environmental Border Dispute
Before the World Court, 10 aSil inSightS (2006), ¶ 11, available at http://
11 See id.
12 See id.
13 U.N. Charter art. 94, para. 2.
14 Boundary Waters Treaty, Jan. 11, 1909, U.S.-U.K., 36 Stat. 2448 (U.K.
entered treaty on behalf of Canada).
15 See id. art. 7-8.
16 See James G. Chandler & Michael J. Veshcler, The Great Lakes-St. Law-
rence River Basin from an IJC Perspective, 18 can.-u.S. l.J. 262 (1992).
17 See id. at 263.
18 See id. at 272.
19 See Noah Hall, Bilateral Breakdown: U.S.-Canada Pollution Disputes, 21
nat. reS. & envt 18, 19-20 (Summer 2006) (explaining how the Trail Smelter
case over sulfur dioxide emissions from a plant in Canada has become a prime
example of resolving transboundary disputes in international environmental
20 See Chandler, supra note 16 at 278.
21 See id. at 281.
22 See id. at 264.
23 See id. at 263-64.
24 See id. at 281-82.
86FALL 2009
ENDNOTES: towarDS a JuriSpruDence of SuStainable Development in South aSia: litigation in the public
intereSt continued from page 49
14 BanglaDesh COnst.available at 
inDia COnst.available at
paKistan COnst.available at
15 
available at 
able at
available at
16 
17 available at
18 Id.
19 SeerepOrt OF the regiOnal sympOsium On the
rOle OF the JuDiCiary in prOmOting the rule OF law in the area OF sustain-
aBle DevelOpmentSee also
20 
21 
22 
Rural Litigation Entitle-
ment Kendra, Dehra Dun v. Uttar Pradesh & others
available at
23 Ratlam Municipality . Vardichand, 
available at
24 Nawimana case
The Nawimana Case
25 supra 
26 available at
27 Keangnam 
case 
available at
28 
29 See, e.g.,
supra 
supra 
able at
30 
available at 
31 See, e.g.,TheNawimana case, supra theKotte Kids case 
The Air Pollution Case
available at 
32 See, e.g., 
available at
available at 
33 available at
34 Shriram Gasleak case
Shriram Gas Leak caseavailable
Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India and
othersavailable at 
35 available
36 
available at
envtl. l. & pOly
37 supra 
38 
39 Garbage Burning
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 
47 
48 
49 
50 
51 
52 
53 K.h.J. wiJayaDasa, tOwarDs sustainaBle grOwth: the sri lanKa experi-
54 sri lanKa COnst.
55 
56 
57 
58 
59 
60 
61 
sumuDu atapattu, envirOnmental rights anD human rights, in sri lanKa:
state OF human rights
sri lanKa J. intl l.
internatiOnal law anD sustainaBle DevelOpment, prinCiples anD praCtiCe
62 
63 
64 
65 
66 
67 sri lanKa COnst.
68 
69 
70 
71 
72 
73 
74 
75 
76 
77 
78 
79 
80 DeepiKa uDagama, law anD sOCiety trust, sri lanKa: state OF human
81 
82 
83 uDagama,
84 
85 
86 
87 
88 
89 
90 
91 
92 
93 
94 
88FALL 2009
ENDNOTES: human rightS anD environmental protection: the preSSure of the charter for the environment
on the french aDminiStrative courtS continued from page 57
18 Guerra & Others v. Italy, Feb. 1, 1998, Reports 1998-I.
19 Athannossoglou & Others v. Switzerland, App. No. 27644/95, 2001 Eur. Ct.
20 See JanS & veDDer, european environmental law 23 (3d ed. 2008)
(“Where scientific opinion differs from one country to another, countries should
apply the precautionary principle”).
21 caSSeSe, supra note 3, at 54.
22 X v. Iceland, App. No. 6825/74, 5 Eur. Comm’n H.R. Dec. & Rep. 87
23 Kyrtatos v. Greece, App. No. 41666/98, 2003-VI Eur. Ct. H.R. 52.
24 Fredin v. Sweden (No. 1), App. No. 12033/86, 13 Eur. H.R. Rep. 784 (1991).
25 Taskin & Others v. Turkey, App. No. 46117/99, 2004-X Eur. Ct. H.R. 621.
26 Moreno Gomez v. Spain, App. No. 4143/02, 2004-X Eur. Ct. H.R.
27 Fadeïeva v. Russia, App. No. 55723/00, 2005-IV Eur. Ct. H.R.
28 Giacomelli v. Italy, App. No. 59909/00, 2006-XII Eur. Ct. H.R.
29 Köktepe v. Turkey, App. No. 35785/03, 2007 Eur. Ct. H.R.
30 Chassagnou, supra note 17.
31 Immobiliare Saffi v. Italy, App. No. 22774/93, 1999-V Eur. Ct. H.R. 65.
32 roDolfo Sacco, anthropologie JuriDiQue: apport a une macro-hiStoire Du
Droit 86 (2008).
33 1958 conSt. Preamble, available at
pdf (“The French people solemnly proclaim their attachment to the Rights of
Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration
of 1789, confirmed and complemented by the Preamble to the Constitution of
1946, and to the rights and duties as defined in the Charter for the Environment
of 2004.”).
34 See Declaration of the Rights of Man, supra note 5 (exemplifying 1st genera-
tion human rights); 1946 conSt. Preamble (exemplifying 2nd generation human
rights); 1958 conSt. Charter for the Environment available at http://www.
tiution_anglais_oct2009.pdf (exemplifying 3rd generation human rights).
35 See generally Sacco, supra note 32, at 86.
36 Les débats et documents du Sénat, Ministre de l’écologie et du développe-
ment durable Feb. 13, 2003, Réponse à la question écrite No. 05714, J.O. 2468,
July 31, 2003 (from a question posed by Jacques Ouidin of the group Union
pour une Mouvement Populaire).
37 Vanessa Barbé, Le Droit de l’environnement en droit constitutionnel com-
paré: contribution à l’étude des effets de la constitutionnalisation, (Sept. 25-27,
2008), available at
38 See Sacco, supra note 32.
39 E.g. C.E.; available at
Congreso/Informacion/Normas/const_espa_texto_ingles_0.pdf (translating
Spain’s Constitution into English); coSt., available at http://www.senato.
it/documenti/repository/istituzione/costituzione_inglese.pdf (translating the
Republic of Italy’s Constitution into English).
40 Id.
41 A bill may be referred to the Conseil constitutionnel by the following: the
Head of State; the Prime minister; the President of both chambers of Parlia-
ment; and because of the Constitutional amendment of 1974, by 60 members of
either parliament chambers.
42 ce, July 10, 2006, Association interdépartementale et intercommunale pour
la protection du lac de Ste Croix, des lacs et sites du Verdon et autres, No.
43 CE, Oct., 2003, Association SOS-rivières et environnement et autres, No.
44 CE, June 6, 2007, Association Le réseau sortir du nucléaire, No. 292386,
available at
45 CE, Feb. 15, 2006, Association Ban Asbestos France et autres, No. 288801,
available at; see gener-
ally Tim Finan & Jasper Copping, Asbestos-Laden Warship to Set Sail for Brit-
ain, Daily telegraph (Jan. 31, 2009), available at
46 CE, Jan. 4, 1995, Ministere de l’Interieur c/Rossi, No. 94967.
47 TA Châlons-sur-Marne, Apr. 29, 2005, AJDA 2005, 978.
48 CE, Apr. 6, 2006, Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux (LPO), No. 283103;
CE, June 19, 2006, Association Eau et Rivières de Bretagne, No. 282456.
49 CE, Dec. 29, 2006, M.A, unpublished, No. 289548.
50 CE, Jan. 24, 2007, Association du Toulois pour la Preservation du Cadre de
Vie, unpublished, No. 287248.
51 CE, Feb. 2, 2007, Association Convention vie et Nature Pour Une Ecologie
Radicale, Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux, Ligue pour la Preservation de
la Faune Sauvage et la Defense des Non-Chasseurs, Association France Nature
Environnement, unpublished, No. 289758.
52 CE, May 7, 2007, ANPER-TOS, Association OABA, No. 286103; CE June
6, 2007, Commune de Groslay, Association Ville et Aéroport, No. 292942.
53 CE, June 6, 2007, Association Sortir Du Nucleaire, n.292386; CE, 27 June
2007, ANPER-TOS, No. 297531; CE, référés, Oct. 2007, Association Orni-
thologique et Mammalogique de Saone et Loire, unpublished, No. 309286;
CE, Mar. 19 2008, Association General des Producteurs de Mais, SCEA de
Malaprade et s., Monsanto et s., Pioneer Genetique et s., SEPROMA, SA Caus-
sade Semences, SA Limagrain Verneuil, SA Maisadour Semences, SA RAGT
Semences, SAS Euralise Semences et s., unpublished, No. 313547. CE, Aug.
26, 2008, Association SOS Grand Bleu, unpublished, No. 320025.
54 See Ligue, supra note 48.
55 Id.
56 Id.
57 CE, Oct. 26, 2007, M. F, M. E, M. C, M et Mme B., M. et Mme A, unpu-
blished, No. 299883; see also CE, May 7, 2008, Association Ornithologique et
Mammalogique de Saone et Loire, unpublished, No. 309285.
58 CE, Oct. 26, 2007, ADVOCNAR, No. 297301 (discussing Charter articles
1 and 5); CE, Oct. 26, 2007, CIRENA, unpublished, No. 298490 (discussing
Charter articles 1, 3, and 6).
59 CE, Dec. 21, 2007, Ministre de l’Economie, Des Finances et de l’Industrie,
No. 300041; CE, Aug. 7, 2008, Collectif Inter-Associatif du Refus des Nui-
sances Dans le Nord-Ouest, M. A, Departement du Val d’Oise, Commune de
Groslay, et s., Association de Defense contre les Nuisances Aeriennes et la
Commune de Gonesse, unpublished, No. 306109.
60 ulrich becK, pouvoir et contre-pouvoir 536 (2005).
61 Décret de President No. 2008-328 Apr. 9, 2008, Journal Officiel de la Répu-
blique [J.O.] [Official Gazette of France], Apr. 9, 2008 (creating the Comité de
réflexion sur le préambule de la Constitution to study the possibility or neces-
sity of including fundamental rights in the Constitution’s Preamble).
62 CE, Oct. 3, 2008, Commune d’Annecy, No. 297931.
63 Id.
64 Id.
65 Id.
66 Id.
67 Id.
68 Law No. 85-30 of Jan. 9, 1985, Journal Officiel de la République [J.O.]
[Official Gazette of France], Jan. 10, 1985, p. 320 (establishing mountain law).
69 Law No. 86-2 of Jan. 3, 1986, Journal Officiel de la République [J.O.] [Offi-
cial Gazette of France], Jan. 4, 1986, p. 200 (establishing littoral law).
70 Commune d’Annecy, supra note 62.
71 Law No. 2005-157, Feb. 23, 2005, Journal Officiel de la République [J.O.]
[Official Gazette of France], Feb. 24, 2005, p. 3073 (introducing a new para-
graph to art. L. 145-1 of the town planning code).
72 Id.
73 Décret No. 2006-993, Aug. 1, 2006, Journal Officiel de la République [J.O.]
[Official Gazette of France], Aug. 5, 2006 p. 11719.
74 Law No. 2005-157, supra note 71.
75 The département is similar to county-level government in the United King-
76 Law No. 2005-157, supra note 71.
77 French statutes are promulgated by the legislative branch, while regulations
are issued by the Prime Minister, certain government ministers, or local authori-
78 Commune d’Annecy, supra note 62.
79 Law No. 2005-205, Mar. 1, 2005, Journal Officiel de la République [J.O.]
[Official Gazette of France], Mar. 2, 2005, available at http://www.legifrance.
EGIARTI000006276527 (determining that the rights and duties defined in the
Charter had constitutional value).
ENDNOTES: SuStainability anD the courtS: a SnapShot of canaDa in 2009 continued from page 63
22 See generally canaDa, houSe of commonS StanDing comm. on the envt
anD SuStainable Dev., thirD report, enforcing canaDaS pollution lawS:
the public intereSt muSt come firSt! (1998), available at http://www2.parl.
ode=1&Parl=36&Ses=1&File=2 (discussing the shrinking budget of Environ-
ment Canada throughout the country over recent years).
23 See treaSury boarD of canaDa Secretariat, public Service renewal
maKing a Difference! (2009), available at
psrpres-eng.asp (charting the declining employment numbers in public service);
Environment Canada, Careers at Enforcement—Enforcement Officers Wanted!, (last vis-
ited Sept. 29, 2009) (recruiting new enforcement officers).
24 See, e.g., Irving Launches Constitutional Challenge of Migratory Birds
Act, cbc newS, Mar. 10, 2008, available at
brunswick/story/2008/03/10/irving-herons.html (detailing the constitutional
challenge to Canada’s Migratory Birds Convention Act by a New Brunswick
company accused of violating the act during tree-felling activities).
25 See, e.g., British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board, available at http:// (noting one of many decisions of
the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board on applications brought by
responsible parties seeking to have governments and government entities added
as responsible parties under a provincial site clean-up order).
26 See DaviD r. boyD, unnatural law: rethinKing canaDian environmental
law anD policy 239 (2003) (explaining that federal departments with environ-
mental responsibilities saw their budgets cut by up to seventy-two percent in
the 1990s).
27 Minister of the Environment, Fact Sheet No. 27 Tioxide Canada Inc. (1996),
available at
28 Fisheries Act, R.S.C., ch. F-14, §§. 35(1), 36(3), 40 (1985).
29 See Department of Justice Canada, The Federal Prosecution Service Desk-
book ch. 26, July 31, 2009, available at
pub/fps-sfp/fpd/ch26.html (noting the Department of Justice’s policies regard-
ing staying charges and pursuing prosecution).
30 See, e.g., R. v. Robert G. Lutes & Gemtec Ltd., File 16355201, 2006
N.P.P.C. 12, paras. 67-68 (Apr. 26, 2006) (Can.) (convicting a company hired
to develop a landfill of Fisheries Act violations); Fletcher v. Kingston (City),
[2004] 7 C.E.L.R. (3d) 198 (Ont. C.A.) (Can.) (affirming the City’s conviction
for violations under the Fisheries Act for seepage into the shoreline caused by
rusty pipes); see also Sentinelles Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, Landfill Investiga-
tion Case Update,
PolutionPrevention/landfupdate.htm (last visited Oct. 30, 2009) (explaining that
engineers in the Gemtec litigation had recently been found guilty of environ-
mental statutory breaches).
31 See EcoJustice, Private Prosecution Process,
process/?searchterm=None (last visited Nov. 5, 2009) (recounting the efforts
of a Sierra Legal Defence Fund investigator to lay a charge of environmental
violations against the Vancouver government).
32 See infraStructure canaDa, Sierra legal Defence funDS national
Sewage report carD iii (2009), available at
recherche/results-resultats/rp-pr/rp-pr-2004-10_02-eng.html (summarizing a
2004 Sierra Legal Defence Fund report).
33 E.g., environmental bureau of inveStigation, citiZenS guiDe to envi-
ronmental inveStigation anD private proSecution (2009), available at http://
34 St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v. Barrette, [2008] 3 S.C.R. 392 (Can.); British
Columbia v. Canadian Forest Products Ltd., [2004] 2 S.C.R. 74 (Can.).
35 See NAAEC, art. 6.1 (ensuring that private citizens have a right to request
the competent authorities to investigate allegations of environmental law viola-
36 Canadian Environnemental Protection Act, S.C. 1999, ch. C-33, §§. 22 et
seq. [hereinafter CEPA].
37 Id. § 22(a) (noting orders preventing action, orders requiring the cessation
of action, and orders to create mitigation or correction plans as valid forms of
injunctive relief).
38 Id. § 25.
1 See Press Release, Survival International, Uncontacted tribe photographed
near Brazil-Peru border (May 29, 2008), available at http://www.survivalin- (showing photo of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe
launching a frenzied arrow attack on an airplane).
2 See Press Release, Survival International, One year on – New report reveals
five uncontacted tribes most at risk (May 29, 2009), available at http://www.
3 See id.
4 See id. at 5.
5 See Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, What is the IACHR?, (last visited Oct. 28, 2009).
6 Organization of American States, American Convention on Human Rights
arts. 51, 62, Nov. 22, 1969, O.A.S.T.S No. 36, 1144 U.N.T.S. 123, available
7 See Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Signatures and Current
Status of Ratifications,
8 Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community V. Nicaragua, 2001 Inter-Am.
Ct. H.R., (ser. C) No. 79 (Aug. 31, 2001).
9 See id. at 5, 80.
10 Claudio Grossman, Awas Tingni v. Nicaragua: A Landmark Case for the
Inter-American System, 8 hum. rtS. brief 2, 2 (2001).
11 John G. Robinson & Elizabeth L. Bennett, Carrying Capacity Limits to Sus-
tainable Hunting in Tropical Forests, in hunting for SuStainability in tropi-
cal foreStS 15 (John G. Robinson & Elizabeth L. Bennett eds., 2000).
ENDNOTES: thirD party petitionS aS a meanS of protecting voluntarily iSolateD inDigenouS peopleS
continued from page 58
12 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Sept. 13,
2004, 61 U.N.T.S. 295, available at
13 See Saramaka People v. Suriname, 2007 Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No.
172 (Nov. 28, 2007); Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Cmty. v. Paraguay, 2006 Inter-
Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 146 (2006); Sarayaku Indigenous Cmty. v. Ecuador,
2004 Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 62 (2004) (enforcing the property rights
of indigenous groups in contact with local government prior to petitioning the
14 Patricio Mena V., Jody R. Stallings, Jhanira Regalado B., & Ruben Cueva,
The Sustainability of Current Hunting Practices by the Huaorani, in hunt-
ing for SuStainability 71, 77 (John G. Robinson & Elizabeth L. Bennett eds.,
15 Inter-Am. C.H.R., Human Rights: How to Present a Petition in the Inter-
American System 6 (2002).
16 See Press Release, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR
Concludes its 130th regular sessions, No. 54/07 (October 19, 2007) available at
17 See Jo M. Pasqualucci, International Indigenous Land Rights: A Critique of
the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Light of the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 27 wiS. intl
l.J. 51, 80-81, 85 (2009).
18 Id. at 84.
90FALL 2009
39 Friends of the Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Trans-
port), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 3 (Can.), available at
40 See Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 1992 S.C., ch. 37 (Can.),
available at
1992-c-37.html (establishing the right of judicial review to decisions made by
the Minister of the Environment).
41 See, e.g., Pembina Inst. for Appropriate Dev. v. Canada (Minister of Fisher-
ies & Oceans), [2006] 3 F.C. D-13 (Can.), available at
eng/2005/2005fc1123/2005fc1123.html; Alberta Environmental Network,
Environmentalists Win Landmark Tar Sands Lawsuit, Mar. 5, 2008, available
at; Robert R.G. Williams, Envtl. Law Ctr.,
Court Affirms Federal Role in Environmental Assessment, 17 News Brief No.1,
6-9 (2002), available at
CourtAffirmsFederalRole-V17-1.pdf (summarizing Environmental Resource
Centre v. Minister of Environment (Canada), [2002] 3 F.C. D-7 (Can.)).
42 See Prairie Acid Rain Coal. v. Minister of Fisheries & Oceans of Canada,
[2006] 3 F.C. 610 (Can.), available at
d=COU-143872&index=courtdecisions; see also MiningWatch Canada, Fight
for Public Involvement in Environmental Assessment Heads To Supreme Court:
First Time Environmental Group Granted Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court
of Canada, Dec. 18, 2008, available at
43 See, e.g, Ecojustice, Piping Plover Lawsuit: Victory, http://www.ecojustice.
ca/cases/reprieve-for-piping-plover (last visited Oct. 10, 2009) (noting that the
federal government identified critical habitat for endangered shorebirds after the
environmental group filed a lawsuit).
44 Media Release, Ecojustice, BC Government Interfering with Endangered
Species: Groups Call for Federal Investigation, Dec. 6, 2007, available at http://
45 Janice Walton, Blakes LLP, Federal Court Decision Interpreting Species at
Risk Act May Create Problems for Landowners and Resource Users, July 16,
2009, available at
46 [2001] 2 S.C.R. 241 (Can.).
47 R.S.Q., ch. P-9.3 (2009).
48 Spraytech, 2 S.C.R. at paras. 55-56.
49 Id.
50 Id. at para. 24.
51 Id. at para. 1.
52 Id. at para. 55.
53 Id. at para. 31.
54 [2003] 2 S.C.R. 624 (Can.).
55 Id. at para 1.
56 Id.
57 Id. at paras. 35-39.
58 Id. at para. 38.
59 Id. at para 19.
60 St. Lawrence Cement Inc v. Barrette, [2008] 3 S.C.R. 392 (Can.)
61 Id. at paras. 6-7.
62 Id. at para. 14.
63 Id. at para. 75.
64 Id. at para. 30.
65 Id.
66 Id. at para. 80.
67 Id.
68 British Columbia v. Canadian Forest Products Ltd., [2004] 2 S.C.R. 74
69 Id. at para. 1.
70 Id. at para. 3.
71 Id. at para. 9.
72 Id. at paras. 10-12, 150.
73 Id. at paras. 66-72.
74 Id. at para. 78.
75 Id. at para. 80.
76 Id. at para. 150.
ENDNOTES: precautionary principle in the international tribunal for the law of the Sea continued from page 64
1 See Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of
Disputes, Apr. 15, 1994, Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade
Organization, Annex 2, 1869 U.N.T.S. 401, available at
english/docs_e/legal_e/28-dsu.pdf [hereinafter Understanding on Rules].
2 Dencho georgiev & Kim van Der borght, reform anD Development of the
wto DiSpute Settlement System 80 (2006).
3 Understanding on Rules, supra note 1.
4 See WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Measures, Apr. 15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 493, available at
english/tratop_e/sps_e/spsagr_e.htm [hereinafter WTO Agreement].
5 Id.
6 Id.
7 See Appellate Body Report, European Communities–Measures Concern-
ing Meat and Meat Products (Hormones), WT/DS26/AB/R, WT/DS48/AB/R
(Jan. 16, 1998), available at
cases_e/ds26_e.htm (follow link for “Appellate Body Report” and download
report from new window) [hereinafter Hormones]; see Panel Report, European
Communities–Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Prod-
ucts, WT/DS291/R (Sept. 29, 2006), available at
DS/293R-00.doc [hereinafter Biotech Products].
8 See Hormones, supra note 7; see also Biotech Products, supra note 7.
9 See Appellate Body Report, Japan–Apples, WT/DS245/AB/R (Nov. 26,
2003), available at
10 See The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,
Sept. 16, 1987, 1522 U.N.T.S. 29, available at
pdfs/Montreal-Protocol2000.pdf [hereinafter Montreal Protocol].
11 Id.
12 See tim StephenS, international courtS anD environmental protection
225 (2009).
13 See Southern Bluefin Tuna (Nos. 3 & 4) (New Zealand v. Japan; Australia v.
Japan), 117 I.L.R. 148 and 119 I.L.R. 508 (Int’l Trib. L. of the Sea 1999) avail-
able at (follow link under “Proceedings and
Judgments” to “List of Cases”); see also philippe SanDS, principleS of interna-
tional environmental law 275 (2003).
14 StephenS, supra note 12, at 225.
15 See The MOX Plant Case (Ireland v. United Kingdom), 126 I.L.R. 334
(Int’l Trib. L. of the Sea 2001) available at
(follow link under “Proceedings and Judgments” to “List of Cases”); see also
StephenS, supra note 12, at 237.
16 StephenS, supra note 12, at 237; see also M. Bruce Volbeda, The MOX
Plant Case: The Question of “Supplemental Jurisdiction” for International
Environmental Claims Under UNCLOS, 42 Tex. Int’l L.J. 211, 213 (2006).
17 StephenS, supra note 12, at 237.
18 StephenS, supra note 12, at 237.
19 Montreal Protocol, supra note 10.
20 StephenS, supra note 12, at 237-38.
ENDNOTES: giving power to the people: comparing the environmental proviSionS of chileS free traDe
agreementS with canaDa anD the uniteD StateS continued from page 68
5 U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, June 6, 2003, U.S.-Chile, art. 19, avail-
able at
[hereinafter USCFTA].
6 See, e.g., Heather Corbin, Note, The Proposed United States-Chile Free
Trade Agreement: Reconciling Free Trade and Environmental Protection, 14
colo. J. intl envtl. l. & poly 119, 141–42 (2003) (arguing that free trade
agreements should be used to advance environmental protection standards). But
see french, supra note 1, at 51 (detailing the difficulties of reforming existing
trade agreements to address environmental concerns).
7 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 23.1; NAAEC, supra note 2, art. 23.1.
8 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14–15; NAAEC, supra note 2, art. 14–15.
9 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14.1. A citizen is any “person or organization
residing or established in the territory of a Party.” Id. art. 14.1(f).
10 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 8. See generally commiSSion for environmental
cooperation, bringing the factS to light: a guiDe to articleS 14 anD 15 of
the naaec (2007) (providing information about the NAAEC process to the
public), available at
11 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14.1; NAAEC, supra note 2, art. 14.1. The
National Secretariat will forward a submission that:
(a) is in writing . . . ; (b) clearly identifies the person or organization
making the submission; (c) provides sufficient information . . . ; (d)
appears to be aimed at promoting enforcement rather than at harass-
ing industry; (e) indicates that the matter has been communicated in
writing to the relevant authorities of the Party and indicates the Par-
ty’s response, if any; (f) is filed by a person or organization residing
or established in the territory of a Party; and (g) includes, in the case
of submissions [regarding] Canada, a declaration to the effect that
the matter will not subsequently be submitted [under the NAAEC],
with a view to avoiding duplication in the handling of submissions.
CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14.1. While these criteria are largely procedural, the
CCAEC Council found one of four submissions to the CCAEC governing body
to be insufficient, and terminated the submissions. CCAEC Submissions Regis-
try, /Registry.cfm.
12 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14.2; NAAEC, supra note 2, art. 14.2. The Com-
mittee considers whether:
(a) the submission alleges harm to the person or organization mak-
ing the submission; (b) the submission . . . raises matters whose
further study in this process would advance the goals of this Agree-
ment; (c) private remedies available under the Party’s law have been
pursued; and (d) the submission is drawn exclusively from mass
media reports.
Id. Of the three submissions the CCAEC Joint Submission Committee has
considered, all three merited a response from the party. CCAEC Submissions
Registry, (last
visited Oct. 15, 2009).
13 See Greg Block, Trade and Environment in the Western Hemisphere:
Expanding the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation to
the Americas, 33 envtl. l. 501, 517–18 (2003) (describing Canada’s efforts to
constrain the citizen submission process and defend against preparation of fac-
tual records, but also its support of the citizen submissions process as a mecha-
nism for calling attention to environmental enforcement problems in individual
provinces where the federal environmental agency does not have control).
14 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.2.
15 Id. art. 19.2.1(a).
16 CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 14.1; NAAEC, supra note 2, art. 14.1.
17 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.6. The USCFTA requires both parties to
accept comments and suggestions from the public and allow for a public com-
mittee to advise the parties in their implementation of the agreement. Id. art.
18 Id. art. 19.6, 22.4. Either party can unilaterally initiate consultations. Id. art.
19.6.1, 22.4.
19 Id. art. 19.6.6.
20 Id. art. 22.5.2.
21 Id. art. 22.6.1.
22 Id. art. 22.15. See also Jay V. Sagar, The Labor and Environment Chapters
of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement: An Improvement Over the
Weak Enforcement Provisions of the NAFTA Side Agreements on Labor and
the Environment?, 21 ariZ. J. intl & comp. l 913, 928–29 (2004) (describing
the USCFTA dispute resolution process in more detail). The fine goes to a fund
for environmental programs, including increasing environmental enforcement.
USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 22.16(4).
23 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 22.16(5).
24 See Jerry l. anDerSon & DenniS D. hirSch, environmental law practice
71 (2d ed. 2003) (explaining the crucial roles of the U.S. Environmental Protec-
tion Agency, state environmental agencies, and environmental organizations in
the effective enforcement of U.S. environmental statutes); cf. Victor B. Flatt,
Spare the Rod and Spoil the Law: Why the Clean Water Act Has Never Grown
Up, 55 ala. l. rev. 595, 596 (2004) (blaming the failure of the Clean Water
Act to bring about clean water in the United States on ineffective enforcement).
25 Cf. Guillermo O’Donnell, Polyarchies and the (Un)Rule of Law in Latin
America: A Partial Conclusion, in the (un)rule of law anD the unDer-
privilegeD in latin america 303, 307–08 (Juan E. Méndez et al. eds. 1999)
(explaining that the “rule of law” means legal rules are applied consistently
without consideration of the power or status held by the subject of a proceed-
ing). But see Laura C. Bickel, Note, Baby Teeth: An Argument in Defense of the
Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 37 new eng. l. rev. 815, 845–46
(2003) (arguing that the focus on enforcement is misplaced and suggesting that
a focus on environmental management would better achieve the stated goals of
the NAAEC).
26 See, e.g., french, supra note 1, at 32 (describing toxic discharges into open
ditches at three-quarters of the sampled factories in Mexico’s border region,
even though Mexico’s environmental laws were comparable to those in the
United States).
27 E.g., Clifford Rechtschaffen, Deterrence vs. Cooperation and the Evolving
Theory of Environmental Enforcement, 71 S. cal. l. rev. 1181, 1223 (1998)
(“In environmental law, consistent treatment is particularly crucial so that regu-
lated entities believe they are competing on a level playing field.”).
28 See håKan norDStröm & Scott vaughan, worlD traDe organiZation,
Special StuDieS 4: traDe anD environment 57 (1999),
english/tratop_e/envir_e/environment.pdf (concluding that income growth in
developing countries is a necessary but not sufficient condition for increased
environmental protection). But see Howard Mann & Monica Araya, An Invest-
ment Regime for the Americas: Challenges and Opportunities for Environmen-
tal Sustainability, in greening the americaS 121, 130–137 (Carolyn L. Deere
& Daniel C. Esty eds., 2002) (explaining that some corporations have used
NAFTA’s investor protection provisions to lobby against and gain compensa-
tion for financial harm from domestic laws strengthening environmental protec-
29 See USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.4 (requiring “receipt and consideration
of public communications” on environmental matters that affect trade).
30 E.g., id., art. 19.2.3 (“Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to
empower a Party’s authorities to undertake environmental law enforcement
activities in the territory of the other Party.”).
31 See Philip M. Moremen, Private Rights of Action to Enforce Rules of Inter-
national Regimes, 79 temp. l. rev. 1127, 1153 (2006) (describing pressure on
the NAAEC governing body to limit the “independence and discretion” of the
body to prepare factual records as more submissions have challenged state fail-
ures to enforce environmental laws).
32 United States Trade Representative, Trade Agreements Home, (2009) http:// (providing the U.S. trade strategy to “create
opportunities for Americans and help to grow the U.S. economy”).
33 See Bickel, supra note 25, at 847 (explaining that states do not have an
interest in pursuing state-to-state dispute resolution because doing so would
highlight the accusing state’s own enforcement record).
34 See, e.g., 22 u.S.c. § 2656 (2008) (delegating power over foreign affairs to
the Secretary of State in the manner in which the President directs).
35 USCFTA, supra note 5, preamble (providing that the United States and
Chile resolved to “AVOID distortions in their reciprocal trade; [and] ESTAB-
LISH clear and mutually advantageous rules governing their trade,” among
other goals).
92FALL 2009
36 See Eric Miller, Did Mexico Suffer Economically from the NAFTA’s Envi-
ronmental Provisions?, in greening the americaS 121, 130–137 (Carolyn
L. Deere & Daniel C. Esty eds., 2002) (finding no economic impact from
trade sanctions because no party has ever used the sanction provisions of the
NAAEC); see also Blanca Torres, The North American Agreement on Environ-
mental Cooperation: Rowing Upstream, in greening the americaS 201, 207
(Carolyn L. Deere & Daniel C. Esty eds., 2002) (describing the “lengthy” and
unlikely process of applying trade sanctions for environmental non-enforce-
ment but saying Mexican officials still find the potential “threatening”).
37 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.
38 Id., art. 19.2.1(a) (providing that a state party must show that the accused
party has “[failed] to effectively enforce its environmental laws, through a
sustained or recurring course of action or inaction, in a manner affecting trade
between the Parties”).
39 french, supra note 1, at 50–51 (praising the NAFTA dispute resolution
procedures for placing the burden of proof on the challenging state instead of
the defending state). Placing the burden on the challenging state makes environ-
mental regulations more likely to survive a challenge. french, supra note 1, at
40 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.2.1(a).
41 See, e.g., Special Report: Environmental Laws on the Books in Latin Amer-
ica But Enforcement, Environmental Infrastructure Lacking, 20 intl envt
rep. 176, 176 (1997) (describing environmental enforcement in Latin America
as “uneven, sporadic, ineffectual, and sometimes, non-existent”).
42 USCFTA, supra note 5, art. 19.2.1(a) (providing that a state party must
show that the accused party has “[failed] to effectively enforce its environmen-
tal laws, through a sustained or recurring course of action or inaction, in a man-
ner affecting trade between the Parties”).
43 See, e.g., Rechtschaffen, supra note 27, at 1224 (explaining that companies
will hesitate to invest in compliance with environmental laws without effective
enforcement in fear that their competitors are not in compliance, thereby gain-
ing a competitive advantage with lower costs).
44 Cf. Moremen, supra note 31, at 1154 (explaining that the complicated
NAFTA provisions for state-to-state dispute resolution makes the imposition of
trade sanctions “unlikely”).
45 See Id. at 1155 (speculating that developing states do not have to fear crip-
pling numbers of submissions because there are few submissions and only real
sanction is “sunshine”).
46 See discussion supra (explaining that states generally have little incentive to
bring environmental enforcement claims against other states).
47 See french, supra note 1, at 55 (speculating that the Mexican government
would not agree to a side agreement to NAFTA that included U.S. enforcement
of environmental laws inside Mexico).
48 See Block, supra note 13, at 516 (remarking on the increased citizen par-
ticipation in public fora in Mexico after the NAAEC); see also Torres, supra
note 36, at 210–14 (describing the strengthening of the Mexican environmental
community around the NAFTA negotiation process and rise in public interest in
environmental issues as the public became more aware of environmental moni-
toring data).
49 Cf. Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 734, 734–35 (1972) (holding that a
plaintiff must be a current user of a resource to have standing to bring a lawsuit
protecting that resource).
50 See Kal Raustiala, Police Patrols & Fire Alarms in the NAAEC, 26 loy.
l.a. intl & comp. l. rev. 389, 404–05 (2004) (explaining that citizens and
NGOs are more likely than a government to report violations because they are
close to the affected environment or specialize in identifying violations).
51 See generally id. (contrasting three citizen alert mechanisms: “police
patrols,” “fire alarms,” and government monitoring of treaty compliance; and
crediting the diffusion of information to the success of citizen monitoring
efforts and citizen suits under U.S. environmental law).
52 See infra (arguing that states concerned about sovereignty are also unlikely
to accept foreign patrols to identify ineffective enforcement).
53 See Raustiala, supra note 50, at 406 (explaining that private actors have
various incentives to report violations; compliant facilities have an economic
incentive to report violations by competitors, users of a natural resource have an
interest in preventing harm, and environmental NGOs have an interest in fulfill-
ing their common purpose).
54 See Benjamin Martin, Note, An Environmental Remedy to Paralyzed Nego-
tiations for a Multilateral Foreign Direct Investment Agreement, 1 golDen
gate u. envtl. l.J. 209, 226 (2007) (explaining that developing nations have
hesitated to enter into investment and trade agreements that include human
rights and religious freedom conditions because they see these conditions as “an
unreasonable interference with state sovereignty”).
55 See CCAEC, supra note 4, art. 3 (allowing each party to “select its own lev-
els of domestic environmental protection” as well as requiring a “high level” of
environmental protection). But see french, supra note 1, at 13 (explaining that
environmental regulations in one country can cause “massive degradation” in
other countries in the absence of global environmental regulations).
56 See french, supra note 1, at 57 (describing the European environmental
community’s increased involvement with enforcement when European Union
treaties provided for a citizen enforcement mechanism with little power to
impose penalties).
57 While a factual record could form the basis of a state-to-state dispute, there
have been no such disputes under the NAAEC or CCAEC, which makes that
possibility remote. John J. Kirton, Winning Together: The NAFTA Trade-
Environment Record, in linKing traDe, environment, anD Social coheSion 74,
90 (John J. Kirton & Virginia W. Maclaren eds., 2002) (contrasting the twenty-
eight citizen submissions with the absence of any state-to-state disputes in the
first six and a half years of the NAAEC).
58 See Moremen, supra note 31, at 1155 (explaining that the limited nature of
the NAAEC’s capacity imposes limited sovereignty costs, but any complaint-
based procedure has a greater sovereignty cost than a state-dependent proce-
dure); see also french, supra note 1, at 55 (describing Mexico’s concern with
the powers of an international governing body).
59 But see Raustiala, supra note 50, at 410 (arguing that relying on citizen “fire
alarms” removes autonomy from the government, and may advance private
interests at the expense of the collective interest).
60 See Sagar, supra note 22, at 942 (explaining that Mexico stopped a pier
project after the release of a factual record suggesting that going forward would
violate Mexico’s environmental laws).
61 See id. (finding evidence of a deterrent from the preparation of a factual
record alone, although a record is not as “detrimental as monetary penalties or
trade sanctions”).
62 Cf. David Rieff, Were Sanctions Right?, n.y. timeS, July 27, 2003, (Maga-
zine) at 41 (describing the effects of long-lasting trade sanctions against Iraq
and concluding that sanctions had little impact on Iraqi rulers while causing
much suffering among the Iraqi population).
63 See Moremen, supra note 31, at 1177 (suggesting that the NAAEC citizen
submissions mechanism is reasonably successful because of the active environ-
mental community in North America that has the capacity and organizational
incentive to monitor and challenge instances of non-enforcement).
64 See Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC’s BioGems: Save Pata-
gonia (2009), (describing the Natural
Resources Defense Council’s work with Chilean activists to call for an envi-
ronmental review of a dam project in Patagonia, Chile). The campaign involves
a submission to the CCAEC. Along with other international and domestic
pressure, the citizen submission led Chile’s environmental minister to reject
the disputed environmental impact statement and request a new study from the
developers. Allison Siverman, Natural Resources Defense Council, Patagonia
BioGem Campaign Status Update, (2008) (on file with author).
65 See Moremen, supra note 31, at 1177 (explaining that a system reliant on
citizen complaints can only be effective if there is a “community of . . . NGOs
willing to bring claims”).
66 See, e.g., Avnita Lakhani, The Role of Citizens and the Future of Interna-
tional Law: A Paradigm for a Changing World, 8 carDoZo J. conflict reSol.
160, 178–79 (2006) (critizicing the NAAEC process for insufficient indepen-
dence and lack of citizen enforcement autonomy). Some commentators call for
an independent arbitration process, which citizens could begin autonomously,
for environmental disputes. Id. at 192.
67 See David L. Markell, Governance of International Institutions: A Review
of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Citizen
Submissions Process, 30 n.c. J. intl. l. & com. reg. 759, 790–92 (2005)
(remarking that environmental organizations continued to file submissions after
the NAAEC governing body refused to consider patterns of non-enforcement).
68 See, e.g., Raustiala, supra note 50, at 392 (remarking that the citizen sub-
missions process was “ground-breaking” direct involvement of individuals in
generally “state-centric” international law).
69 See id. at 398 (noting that the NAAEC submissions process “shifts the
search for noncompliance” from governments to private actors).
70 See french, supra note 1, at 55 (speculating that the Mexican government
would be hesitant to sign an agreement that delegated too much sovereignty to
an international environmental body).
71 See id. at 541–42 (decrying the requirement that the politicized Council has
to vote to allow preparation and release of each factual record as an unwelcome
intrusion of politics into the process); see also Geoff Garver, Tooth Decay, the
environmental forum, May-June 2008 at 34, 36 (criticizing U.S. interference
with the CEC process).
72 See Sagar, supra note 22, at 941–42 (using the Cozumel Island factual
record, which prompted the Mexican government to cancel a cruise ship pier
project, to argue that a factual record has some deterrent effect).
73 See Torres, supra note 36, at 207 (explaining that Mexican non-governmen-
tal organizations recognize the risk of less effective enforcement if Mexican
government institutions are overwhelmed by citizen submissions and have held
back to avoid that possibility).
74 See Markell, supra note 67, at 788–89 (reporting that many environmental
advocacy groups support the NAAEC process and offer some evidence that
environmental governance has improved under the NAAEC); see also Tor-
res, supra note 36, at 210–14 (concluding that the NAAEC has helped Mexico
improve its environmental governance by strengthening the environmental
community and the capacity of government institutions charged with environ-
mental protection).
75 E.g., North American Free Trade Agreement, Dec. 8, 1992, Can.-Mex.-U.S.,
32 I.L.M. 289, art. 1110; see also international inStitute for SuStainable
Development & worlD wilDlife funD, private rightS, public problemS:
a guiDe to nafta’S controverSial chapter on inveStor rightS 1 (2001),
available at (criticizing
NAFTA’s Chapter 11 for allowing foreign investors to bring the host country
into binding, confidential arbitration without proving for community input, and
potentially requiring the host country to compensate a foreign investor for costs
associated with new environmental regulations).
76 See, e.g., pierre marc JohnSon & anDré beaulieu, the environment anD
nafta: unDerStanDing anD implementing the new continental law 69–110
(1996) (explaining that new environmental legislation must not unjustifiably
restrict trade).
77 U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, Apr. 12, 2006, U.S.-Peru, available
78 See Aaron Cosbey, Brave New Deal? Assessing the May 10th U.S. Biparti-
san Compact on Free Trade Agreements, iiSD commentary, 3–4, Aug. 2007
(concluding that enacted changes to the USPTPA “probably [do] not” increase
the effectiveness of environmental enforcement in Peru), available at http://