In 1998, the School of Law welcomed four distinguished scholars, from Australia, Great Britain, Mexico, and the United States, to examine important questions about environmental protection: No nation can protect the environment by itself, as environmental degradation is a global threat. Yet as recently as the 1970s, legal mechanisms for protecting the international environment were virtually nonexistent. Since then the body of international environmental law had proliferated. Nations entered into hundreds of legal instruments designed to reduce pollution and protect resources. Detailed mechanisms for resolving international environmental disputes were included in trade treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The 1998 Allen Chair speakers engaged with a long list of questions about these international agreements designed to safeguard the environment: How do we implement these agreements? How do we ensure compliance with them? How effective have these agreements been to date? Should litigation or some other form of dispute resolution be the recourse of aggrieved parties? Should non-governmental organizations have access to the decision-making process? What is the appropriate relationship between environmental protection and economic development? How should we account for national sovereignty and respect differences among nations?

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Tuesday, March 3rd
5:30 PM

Resolving International Environmental Disputes in the 1990s and Beyond

Ben Boer
Beatriz Bugeda
Edith Brown Weiss
Pilippe Sands

University of Richmond School of Law

5:30 PM - 5:30 PM