2nd Edition

The Principle of Sustainability
Transforming law and governance

ISBN 9781472481313
Published December 8, 2016 by Routledge
272 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

This book investigates how sustainability informs key principles and concepts of domestic and international law. It calls for the recognition of ecological sustainability as a fundamental principle to guide the entire legal system rather than just environmental legislation. To this end, the book makes a contribution to global environmental constitutionalism, a rapidly growing area within comparative and international environmental law and constitutional law. This 2nd edition has been fully revised and updated to take account of recent developments and new case law. The book will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and policy makers working in the areas of environmental law and governance.

Table of Contents



Foreword to the 1st edition


Chapter One: The Meaning of Sustainability

Chapter Two: The Principle of Sustainability

Chapter Three: Ecological Justice

Chapter Four: Ecological Human Rights and Constitutions

Chapter Five: The State as Environmental Trustee

Chapter Six: Governance for Sustainability



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Klaus Bosselmann is Professor of Law and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Ethics Specialist Group and Co-Chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group. For his pioneering work on ecological approaches to law, policy and governance he received numerous awards including the Inaugural Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, the global professional organization of environmental law scholars. 


An absolutely essential reading for all who are interested in understanding the historical, conceptual and ethical roots of the principle of sustainability, with a view to promote its correct and meaningful application in contemporary international environmental law and governance. Its sheds a clear light on the true nature of sustainability and its paramount role to respect and maintain the Earth’s ecological integrity. Prof. Massimiliano Montini, University of Siena (Italy)

Klaus Bosselmann continues his tradition of excellent scholarship in probing the origins and contemporary relevance of sustainability by comprehensive reference to international law and policy, and national implementing regimes. The new edition reveals why sustainability remains a core value to guide law and governance in its pursuit of ethics and justice, and how the principle may be aligned to resilience, integration, human rights, and environmental constitutionalism.  It provides a compelling account of an important dimension to the ecological condition of humanity.  Professor Lee Godden (PhD, MA, B.Leg S, BA Hons), Director, Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Melbourne Law School.