Presence of Special Principles as a Condition for the International Environmental Law as an Independent Branch of International Law Formation

Journal Issue:

Author Information: 

Doctor of Philosophy (Law), Assistant Professor of the Department of International Law of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia; Assistant of the Member of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

Abstract: 
Article deals with the weakest link in the structure of international environmental law, which presence serves as a pretext for the continuation of discussions between international lawyers both in Russia and abroad on the recognition or non-recognition of international environmental law an independent branch of international law. This is a category of special principles that should form the skeleton of totality of international legal rules, if they apply for the name of an independent branch of international law. The article analyzes the main most authoritative offers of the catalogs of special principles of international environmental law, contained in the works of both Russian and foreign scientists, revealed the main reasons that do not allow to reach consensus on a common list of such principles today: a lack of understanding of the essence of special principles and the ongoing dynamic development of international legal regulation of international environmental relations. In this situation it is suggested that the experts in the field of international environmental law focus on the discussion, clarifications and additions to the list of special principles contained in the draft International Covenant on Environment and Development, presented for the first time by the IUCN experts in 1995 and based on the principles and achievements of all conducted under the UN auspices of all international conferences on the environment on the provisions of the World Charter for Nature and the existing international environmental agreements. The fourth edition of the draft Covenant adopted in 2010 indicates a consensus among the most prominent representatives of the science of international law different regions of the Earth with respect to 10 special principles, many of which require further refinement and development. The least studied in the "top ten" is the principle of the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, the legal content of which is analyzed in the article with special interest. The author suggests to concentrate scientific potential of the Russian doctrine of international environmental law and the activities of the foreign affairs agencies on the promotion of the ideas of the draft International covenant in order to present it in the end, at a specially convened intergovernmental conference.
Keywords: 

international environmental law, criteria, branch of international law, special principles, biological diversity, draft International covenant on environment and development, IUCN, codification, protected area, list, polluter pays.

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