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International Legal Regulation in the Field of Environmental Protection: History, Currents Situation, Prospects for the Future

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The international agreements and treaties in the field of environmental protection, concluded in the 19th — first half of the 20thcentury, resulted most commonly from the compromises ofnecessity; they merely intended to deal with urgent matters on a limited scale in the spheres where specific problems emerged or at least were a focus of attention (e.g. some species under the threat of extinction, pollution of a specific area of the marine environment). These cases were reasons for adoption of conventions, aimed at protecting endangered species or preventing marine pollution. Such a fragmented approach to the issues of environmental protection shaped a set of conventions, impressive by its amount, but extremely diverse in its content.

The understanding of the ecosystems’ integrity resulted in the development of the principles, enshrined in the 1972 Stockholm Declaration and in the 1992 Rio Declaration, was to a significant degree driven by the spectacular advances in science and technology. As a result, the transition has been under way from the “spontaneous” formation of the international environmental standards to their consolidation around the special principles of international environmental law.

Also a notable feature of many international environmental agreements — their “framework” character — is further analyzed. The adoption of the framework agreements gives rise to the complex sets of the convention documents, consisting of several different, but in a certain way interrelated agreements.

Treating a question of the effectiveness of such a legal instrument as a framework agreement, the author concludes that the origins of the lack of effectiveness of the environmental agreements lie in the foundations of the existing economic system.

About the Author

O. I. Ilinskaya
Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL)
Russian Federation

Olga I. Ilinskaya - Cand. Sci. (Law), Associate Professor, Department
of International Law

Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya St., 9, Moscow 125993


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For citation:

Ilinskaya O.I. International Legal Regulation in the Field of Environmental Protection: History, Currents Situation, Prospects for the Future. Kutafin Law Review. 2021;8(2):247-269.

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