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(Existence of) Common or Universal Principles for Resource Management (?)

  • Chapter
Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources

Abstract

This chapter seeks to identify and probe a selective number of common and universal principles of international law as to whether and to what extent they are applicable to resource management. The inescapable phenomenon of globalization today is considerably more intensive as well as extensive than historic globalization compelling States to cooperative engagement. According to regime theory, States coordinate their behaviour under circumstances where decentralized and uncoordinated decision-making does not lead to optimal results. Such international regimes consist of sets of principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures for the governance of limited issue-areas thereby furnishing the basis for global governance. Most of the existing or developing common or universal principles for resource management are to be found in the field of international environmental law. Due to high thresholds for acceptance, only the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources and the principle not to cause trans-boundary environmental damage have as yet attained the status of customary international law. Even though numerous other principles such as the precautionary principle and the concept of sustainable use are not yet fully accepted principles of international law, they are certainly developing towards broader recognition.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Wolfrum (2012a), para. 7.

  2. 2.

    Brownlie (1998), p. 19; Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 9–11.

  3. 3.

    Weiss (2012a), pp. 336 et seq. See generally Sklar (1991).

  4. 4.

    A number of provisions contained in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties are generally considered to reflect pre-existing customary law, see Bernhardt (1984), p. 459; Brownlie (1998), chapter 1.

  5. 5.

    Gordon (1965), p. 813.

  6. 6.

    Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 12 and 14.

  7. 7.

    North Sea Continental Shelf cases, Judgment of 20 February 1969, ICJ Reports 1969, p. 3, para. 74.

  8. 8.

    Ibid.; Akehurst (1975), pp. 1–12.

  9. 9.

    Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 22, 25–27, and 30–31; Schlütter (2010); Paust (1997), p. 78.

  10. 10.

    Binding decisions are taken by the International Organisation (IO) on the basis of competences conferred upon by the constitutive treaty, see Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 5–30; binding decisions may take the form of abstract instruments of general application, administrative decisions, contractual-type arrangements, judicial and quasi-judicial pronouncements or may result in international institutional law, see Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 5–30.

  11. 11.

    Non-binding instruments play an especially important role in the development of customary international law as well as (existing) principles of international law, Wolfrum (2012a), para. 39.

  12. 12.

    Wolfrum (2012a), paras. 40–43.

  13. 13.

    ILC, Guiding Principles Applicable to Unilateral Declarations of States Capable of Creating Legal Obligations (2006), Preamble.

  14. 14.

    Nuclear Tests Case (Australia v. France), Judgment of 20 December 1974, ICJ Reports 1974, para. 43.

  15. 15.

    English Oxford Dictionary, available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/214783?redirectedFrom=universal+#eid.

  16. 16.

    Ibid.

  17. 17.

    Op. cit., available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/77489?rskey=EsGpzU&result=1#eid.

  18. 18.

    Op. cit., available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/37216?rskey=LZiwpL&result=3#eid.

  19. 19.

    Op. cit., available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/79019?redirectedFrom=global+#eid.

  20. 20.

    Op. cit., available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/151459?rskey=xqdqHB&result=1#eid.

  21. 21.

    Wolfrum (2012b), paras. 6 and 7.

  22. 22.

    Mosler (1984), pp. 90–91; Brownlie (1998), p. 16.

  23. 23.

    Principles initially set out in one treaty regime evolve towards an independent source of international law when they are transferred to another treaty regime and they are recognised as such, cf. expressed in jurisprudence of international courts, resolutions or policy statements of IOs, Wolfrum (2012b), paras. 28–29, 34, and 36.

  24. 24.

    Brownlie (1998), p. 3; Wolfrum (2012a), para. 11.

  25. 25.

    The European Commission of Human Rights referred to Arts. 31–33 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties stating that they constitute, in its opinion, general principles that must be applied accordingly.

  26. 26.

    Mosler (1984), p. 91.

  27. 27.

    Brownlie (1998), p. 19.

  28. 28.

    Mosler (1984), p. 92.

  29. 29.

    Wolfrum (2012b), para. 55, who also names the principles of international environmental law, e.g. preventive principle, sustainable development, as examples of this mechanism.

  30. 30.

    Wolfrum (2012b), paras. 60–63; in addition, general principles can be a very useful instrument in order to bridge the fragmentation international law.

  31. 31.

    WTO (2010), p. 46.

  32. 32.

    The term ‘primary commodity’ has somewhat ineptly been translated as ‘Grundstoff’, see Hummer and Weiss (1997), p. 95.

  33. 33.

    Oxford English Dictionary, available at http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/163768?rskey=2bzBZj&result=1#eid.

  34. 34.

    See Button (2008), pp. 575–577. In general, no regulation decides on how to conceptualise carbon units. In the absence of any guidance, industry practice tends to treat carbon emissions rights as commodities, a practice, which is also reflected in literature and which indeed seems comprehensible due to the many similarities (trades are made in very large volumes, emergence of carbon future markets etc.) emissions units share with commodities like e.g. metals.

  35. 35.

    Weiss (2009), pp. 268–269.

  36. 36.

    United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, Appellate Body Report of 29 April 1996, WT/DS2/AB/R.

  37. 37.

    Weiss (2009), p. 269.

  38. 38.

    See generally Hasenclever et al. (1997).

  39. 39.

    Gehring (1994), p. 481.

  40. 40.

    Bradford (2001), p. 668.

  41. 41.

    See e.g. Schwarze (2011), pp. 3 et seq.; Benedek (1990), pp. 123–125, and 153 et seq.; Marboe (2012); Hafner (2003); Yoshida (2001), pp. 9–10; Gold (1984), pp. 515 et seq.

  42. 42.

    Cf. international legal theories such as The New Haven School, see Reisman et al. (2007).

  43. 43.

    Hasenclever et al. (1997), p. 8; Susan Strange criticised the scholarly discussions evolving around international regimes in expressing that ‘people mean different things when they use it’, see Strange (1982), pp. 484–486.

  44. 44.

    Krasner (1983), p. 2; Krasner (1985), pp. 4–5.

  45. 45.

    Hasenclever et al. (1997), p. 11; Gehring (1994), fn. 234.

  46. 46.

    Gehring (1994), p. 60; the empirical object of study in this respect was the GATT’47 regime.

  47. 47.

    Gehring (1994), pp. 15 and 481; Yoshida (2001), pp. 10–11.

  48. 48.

    Gehring (1994), p. 61.

  49. 49.

    Ibid., p. 397.

  50. 50.

    Yoshida (2001), pp. 11–12.

  51. 51.

    Weiss (2014), p. 579; Globalisation did not just occur in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War but has occurred in much earlier times, e.g. Silk Road, see Brühl and Rittberger (2002), pp. 13–14.

  52. 52.

    Friedmann (2005), passim.

  53. 53.

    Cited from Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 13, based on Reinicke (1998), p. 6.

  54. 54.

    Cited from Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 13, based on Higgott and Phillips (2000), chapter 4. See also Handl et al. (2012).

  55. 55.

    Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 13, see also Beisheim et al. (1999), passim.; Walter et al. (1997), passim.

  56. 56.

    Cited from Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 13; Held et al. (1999a), p. 2.

  57. 57.

    Economically: global value chains, fragmentation of ownership and production, politically: new actors such as multinational firms, NGOs and social movements, socially: spread of certain models of production and consumption, culturally: development of global culture, legally: new institutions, new types of norms, concerns about how to achieve democracy and accountability, see Snyder (2010), pp. 43–44.

  58. 58.

    Esty (2006), pp. 1497 et seq., examples of international governance include the WTO, WHO, ISO, OECD.

  59. 59.

    Weiss and Thakur structure the challenges to global governance into five policy gaps: knowledge gaps, normative gaps, policy gaps, institutional gaps, compliance gaps, for an overview see Weiss and Thakur (2010), pp. 3, 7–23.

  60. 60.

    For an overview of literature on Globalisation and the Law see Snyder (2010), pp. 11–41.

  61. 61.

    The growing number of actors may be, amongst others, one of the reasons behind the UN Global Compact which addresses the private sector’s growing importance, see Weiss and Thakur (2010), p. 30.

  62. 62.

    The gap in terms of wealth between rich and DCs/LDCs is even widening, UNDP (1999).

  63. 63.

    Brühl and Rittberger (2002), pp. 2–3.

  64. 64.

    Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 14.

  65. 65.

    Commission for Global Governance (1995), p. 2.

  66. 66.

    UNDP (1994), chapter 1.

  67. 67.

    Keohane and Nye (2000), p. 12.

  68. 68.

    Weiss and Thakur (2010), p. 6.

  69. 69.

    Op. cit., p. 6.

  70. 70.

    Brühl and Rittberger (2002), p. 2.

  71. 71.

    Snyder (1999), pp. 334–335.

  72. 72.

    Krisch and Kingsbury (2006), p. 3.

  73. 73.

    For further literature on these topics see also Brühl and Rittberger (2002).

  74. 74.

    World Bank (1989), p. xii.

  75. 75.

    Austrian Development Cooperation (2006), pp. 4–5; according to one of the main claims in literature good governance promotes economic development, cf. Kaufmann and Kraay (2002), pp. 169–229.

  76. 76.

    See Santiso (2001), pp. 3 et seq.; Doornbos (2001), pp. 93–97.

  77. 77.

    See Weiss and Steiner (2007), p. 1548.

  78. 78.

    Camdessus (1997), p. iv.

  79. 79.

    World Bank (1994), p. vii.

  80. 80.

    Brown Weiss and Sornarajah (2009), paras. 40–43; see also Wolfensohn (2000), p. 10; Kaufmann and Kraay (2008), p. 4.

  81. 81.

    World Bank Institute, Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), available at http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.aspx#home.

  82. 82.

    Brown Weiss and Sornarajah (2009), para. 7.

  83. 83.

    ESCAP (2007), p. 3.

  84. 84.

    UN, Governance, https://www.un.org/en/globalissues/governance/.

  85. 85.

    UN, Governance, https://www.un.org/en/globalissues/governance/.

  86. 86.

    UN, Governance, https://www.un.org/en/globalissues/governance/.

  87. 87.

    African Development Bank Group (2008), p. 15, fn. 1.

  88. 88.

    OECD (1995), p. 14.

  89. 89.

    Commission of the European Communities 2001, European Governance: White Paper from the Commission to the European Council, COM(2001) 428 Final, p. 10, stating ‘The Institutions should work in a more open manner. Together with the Member States, they should actively communicate about what the EU does and the decisions it takes. They should use language that is accessible and understandable for the general public. This is of particular importance in order to improve the confidence in complex institutions’.

  90. 90.

    Ibid., stating ‘[r]oles in the legislative and executive processes need to be clearer’.

  91. 91.

    Ibid., stating ‘[p]olicies and action must be coherent and easily understood’.

  92. 92.

    Ibid.

  93. 93.

    ILA (2004), p. 8.

  94. 94.

    For an overview of good governance in international organisations see Brown Weiss and Sornarajah (2009), paras. 61–71.

  95. 95.

    The Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), Legal Working Paper on ‘The Principles of International Law Related to Sustainable Development’, available at http://cisdl.org/public/docs/new_delhi_declaration.pdf, p. 18.

  96. 96.

    Brown Weiss and Sornarajah (2009), para. 73.

  97. 97.

    The Center for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL), Legal Working Paper on ‘The Principles of International Law Related to Sustainable Development’, available at http://cisdl.org/public/docs/new_delhi_declaration.pdf, see supra ibidem.

  98. 98.

    See OECD Development Assistance Committee (1997a, b, c).

  99. 99.

    Weiss and de Waart (1998), p. 9.

  100. 100.

    Uvin and Biagiotti (1996), pp. 384–388.

  101. 101.

    International Law Association, ILA Resolution 3/2003: New Delhi Declaration of Principles of International Law Relating to Sustainable Development (2002), in ILA, Report of the Seventieth Conference, New Delhi, 2002.

  102. 102.

    Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002, paras. 137–138.

  103. 103.

    Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development ‘From our origins to the future’, adopted at the 17th plenary meeting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on 4 September 2002, para. 30.

  104. 104.

    Weiss (2012b), p. 463.

  105. 105.

    Schrijver (2008a, b), paras. 1 and 3.

  106. 106.

    For evidence of State practice see Schrijver (2008a, b), para. 23.

  107. 107.

    Op. cit, para. 2.

  108. 108.

    Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration outlines that ‘States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.’

  109. 109.

    Principle 2 of the Rio Declaration outlines that ‘States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.’

  110. 110.

    A number of States invoked Principle 21 as applicable customary international law which was not rejected by the court. See also Sands (2003), p. 245.

  111. 111.

    Sands (2003), fn. 37; It has been, inter alia, adopted by Art. 30 Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, the 1975 Final Act Helsinki Conference or Art. 193 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, see also Sands (2003), pp. 243–245.

  112. 112.

    See UNGA Resolution 2996 (XXVII), International responsibility of States in regard to the environment of 15 December 1972, A/RES/27/2996(XXVII).

  113. 113.

    Brunnée (2010), paras. 1, 3, 4, 7, and 9.

  114. 114.

    Brunnée (2010), para. 10.

  115. 115.

    E.g. 1972 Stockholm Declaration, 1992 Rio Declaration, 1985 Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the 1992 Climate Change Convention etc., for full evidence see Brunnée (2010), para. 11.

  116. 116.

    Brunnée (2010), paras. 14 and 16.

  117. 117.

    Sands (2003), p. 246.

  118. 118.

    Sands (2003), pp. 246–247, fn. 65.

  119. 119.

    E.g. in Principles 6, 7, 15, 18, 24 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration and 14 of the 1992 Rio Declaration, Art. 191 (2) TFEU, Trail Smelter case, see also Sands (2003), pp. 247–248.

  120. 120.

    For an overview see Sands (2003), p. 248.

  121. 121.

    Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration states that ‘In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’

  122. 122.

    For an overview see Sands (2003), pp. 269–271.

  123. 123.

    Art. 4(3)(f) Bamako Convention of 1991 states that ‘Each Party shall strive to adopt and implement the preventive, precautionary approach to pollution problems which entails, inter-alia, preventing the release into the environment of substances which may cause harm to humans or the environment without waiting for scientific proof regarding such harm. The Parties shall co-operate with each other in taking the appropriate measures to implement the precautionary principle to pollution prevention through the application of clean production methods, rather than the pursuit of a permissible emissions approach based on assimilative capacity assumptions.’

  124. 124.

    Art. 2(5)(a) Watercourses Convention of 1992 states that ‘The precautionary principle, by virtue of which action to avoid the potential transboundary impact of the release of hazardous substances shall not be postponed on the ground that scientific research has not fully proved a causal link between those substances, on the one hand, and the potential transboundary impact, on the other hand.’

  125. 125.

    Art. 3(3) Climate Change Convention.

  126. 126.

    Judgment in the Case Philip Morris v. Norway of 16 September 2011.

  127. 127.

    See Alemanno (2007).

  128. 128.

    E.g. EC-Hormones, Appellate Body Report, WT/DS26/AB/R, WT/DS48/AB/R, para. 123; Request for an examination of the situation in accordance with paragraph 63 of the Court’s judgment of 20 December 1974 in the Nuclear Tests case, Order, ICJ Reports 1995, p. 288; Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay, Request for the indication of provisional measures, Order, ICJ Reports 2006, paras. 73–75; see also Sands (2003), pp. 272–279.

  129. 129.

    Case T-13/99, Pfizer v. Council, ECR p. II-3305, paras. 143–144; albeit not explicitly mentioned, the ECJ relied upon the precautionary principle in its judgment in C-180/96, United Kingdom v. Commission, ECR 3903, and C-157/96, National Farmers’ Union ECR I-2211.

  130. 130.

    EFTA Court of 5 April 2001, Case E-3/00 Efta Surveillance Authority v. Norway, EFTA Court Report 2000/2001, 73, para 30.

  131. 131.

    Sands (2003), pp. 272–273.

  132. 132.

    United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary and International Lakes, Art. 2(5)(b).

  133. 133.

    Energy Charter Treaty, Art. 19(1).

  134. 134.

    OECD (1972), para. 4.

  135. 135.

    OECD (1974), I.1; OECD (1989).

  136. 136.

    See amongst others e.g. Case C-293/97, Standley [1999] ECR I-2603, paras. 51–53.

  137. 137.

    Art 191(2) TFEU states that ‘Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.’

  138. 138.

    Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, OJ L 327 of 22 December 2000.

  139. 139.

    See Directive 2004/35/EC (as amended by Directive 2006/21/EC, Directive 2009/31/EC, Directive 2013/30/EU), OJ 143/2004, recital 2 states that ‘The prevention and remedying of environmental damage should be implemented through the furtherance of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, as indicated in the Treaty and in line with the principle of sustainable development. The fundamental principle of this Directive should therefore be that an operator whose activity has caused the environmental damage or the imminent threat of such damage is to be held financially liable, in order to induce operators to adopt measures and develop practices to minimise the risks of environmental damage so that their exposure to financial liabilities is reduced.’

  140. 140.

    See European Commission 2007, Green Paper on Marked based Instruments for Environment and Related Policy Purposes, COM(2007) 140 Final, pp. 8, 11, and 12.

  141. 141.

    Sands (2003), pp. 279–280; likewise Chen (2012), pp. 14 and 15.

  142. 142.

    See contributions in the Austrian Review of International and European Law, vol. 8, 2003 and Friedmann’s observations on globalisation in Friedmann (2005), chapter II.

  143. 143.

    Principles 1–6 of the UN Global Compact, http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/index.html.

  144. 144.

    Principles 7–9 of the UN Global Compact, http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/index.html.

  145. 145.

    Principle 10 of the UN Global Compact, http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/index.html.

  146. 146.

    UN Global Compact Brochure, p. 1.

  147. 147.

    Ibid., p. 1.

  148. 148.

    See ICJ Reports 1997, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros, pp. 110–111, where in a dissenting opinion Vice-President Weeramantry concluded that ‘Sustainable development is thus not merely a principle of modern international law. It is one of the most ancient of ideas in the human heritage. Fortified by the rich insights that can be gained from millennia of human experience, it has an important part to play in the service of international law’.

  149. 149.

    See UNGA Resolution 2626 (XXV) International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade of 24 October 1970, A/RES25/2626; 1971 Founex Report ‘Development and Environment’; 1972 Stockholm Declaration; see particularly, Schrijver and Weiss (2004).

  150. 150.

    The 1980 UNGA Resolution 35/56, International Development Strategy for the United Nations Third Development Decade of 5 December 1980, A/RES/35/56, para. 41, states that ‘…There is need to ensure an economic development process which is environmentally sustainable over the long run and which protects the ecological balance…’. See Sands (2003), p. 252.

  151. 151.

    Art 1(1) states that ‘The Contracting Parties, within the frame work of their respective national laws, under take to adopt singly, or where necessary and appropriate through concerted action, the measures necessary to maintain essential ecological process and life-support systems, to preserve genetic diversity, and to ensure the sustainable utilization of harvested natural resources under their jurisdiction in accordance with scientific principles and with a view to attaining the goal of sustainable development.’

  152. 152.

    Brundtland Report as adopted by the 1987 UNGA Resolution 42/187, para. 5.

  153. 153.

    Brundtland Report as adopted by the 1987 UNGA Resolution 42/187, Preamble.

  154. 154.

    For a comprehensive overview see Schrijver (2008a, b), pp. 102–141.

  155. 155.

    ICJ Reports 1997, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros, para. 140.

  156. 156.

    ICJ Reports 1997, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros, p. 95.

  157. 157.

    US-Shrimp, Appellate Body Report, WT/DS58/AB/R, para. 129, fn. 107, para. 153.

  158. 158.

    See Foreword by Simma, to Schrijver and Weiss (2004), p. v.

  159. 159.

    Principle 4 of the 1992 Rio Declaration states that ‘In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.’; see also Fuentes (2004), p. 7.

  160. 160.

    See also Barral (2012), p. 380.

  161. 161.

    See Sands (2003), p. 254, according to whom sufficient State practice and opinio iuris exists to conclude that sustainable development has become customary international law; also Weeramantry in his dissenting opinion, ICJ Reports 1997, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros, p. 95, and Barral (2012), p. 388.

  162. 162.

    According to Lowe sustainable development is not a norm itself, it rather establishes the relationship between other norms, Lowe (1999), pp. 26 and 34. This view is indeed quite compelling.

  163. 163.

    Weiss (1995), p. 389; see also Schrijver (2008a, b), p. 231.

  164. 164.

    See Sect. C.II.1.

  165. 165.

    See Sect. C.II.3.

  166. 166.

    Schrijver (2008a, b), p. 209.

  167. 167.

    See Sect. C.II.6.

  168. 168.

    See Schrijver (2008a, b), p. 221.

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Weiss, F., Scherzer, B. (2015). (Existence of) Common or Universal Principles for Resource Management (?). In: Bungenberg, M., Hobe, S. (eds) Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15738-2_3

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