1st Edition

Implementing International Environmental Law and Policy An Interactive Approach to Environmental Regulation

By Joanna Miller Smallwood Copyright 2024
    232 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book introduces a novel discourse, based on socio-legal theory of compliance with international environmental law, which addresses the overarching question: When can international environmental law and policy achieve implementation, compliance, and be effective?

    Offering an important contribution to academic and practical understandings of implementation and compliance with international environmental obligations, the book firstly critiques existing multidisciplinary theories of law and then brings together international and domestic legal theories to highlight their symbiotic relationship. It also stresses the importance of interactions between domestic and international legal and policy processes. This pioneering discourse is argued to be transformative to international environmental regimes and offers a way for them to be truly normative and to achieve compliance.

    The book will be of interest to students and scholars in the field of socio-legal studies and international environmental law and policy.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    Introduction 1. Law but not as you know it: A new discourse of international environmental law 2. The 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity and common challenges to implementation 3. Making international environmental law and policy that works 4. The role of secretariats in international environmental governance 5. Compliance and accountability for international environmental law and policy 6. Keeping international environmental law and policy alive: The important journey of implementation 7. Learning the Lessons: Implications for policy. Conclusion.


    Joanna Miller Smallwood has a long-standing interest in nature conservation and law. Her career began as a solicitor, including working on environmental law multi-party actions representing claimants against multi-national corporations. Joanna's PhD and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Sussex concerned the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Targets in the UK. She is a member of the international Taskforce on the Governance of Nature and Biodiversity, part of the Earth System Governance network, and a fellow of the University of Sussex Sustainability Research programme (SSRP). Joanna's research focuses on transformative governance of food production and consumption and nature conservation, implementing legal and policy frameworks for the rights of nature in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and UK, and the implementation of forest risk commodity legislation in Cote D'Ivoire. Joanna is the solicitor and co-lead for the Environmental Law Foundation/University of Sussex Environmental Justice Law Clinic, supervising students working on local environmental cases.

    "This book presents a thoughtful and deeply researched account of how international environmental law can achieve the transformation that the global environment demands. Its recommendations highlight that internalising international environmental law goes far beyond the state, and indeed ultimately requires participation and cooperation on the local level."

    Dr Emily Lydgate, Deputy Director UK Trade Policy Observatory, Reader, Sussex Law School

    “This book offers an important and insightful discussion on the effectiveness of international environmental law and governance, addressing the pivotal question of how to strengthen and enhance compliance with international environmental norms. As such, it will be a valuable reading for academics, researchers and policy-makers interested in understanding how to improve international environmental law and make it work effectively."

    Dr Emanuela Orlando, Lecturer in Environmental Law, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex