Compliance mechanisms can be found in treaties regulating such diverse issues as human rights, disarmament law, and environmental law. In this bibliography, the focus will be on compliance mechanisms of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Compliance with norms of international environmental law, in particular those included in MEAs, has been of interest for many years, both from a theoretical and practical point of view. Compliance with MEAs is a matter that differs greatly from compliance with domestic environmental rules. In relation to compliance with the norms of environmental agreements, the focus of this article is on sovereign countries. There are a number of theories that attempt to address the complex issues involved in the legal basis of compliance as well as the best methods to ensure it, ranging from facilitative to compulsory techniques. The theory of compliance comprises the debate on the extent of functions of the organs established by MEAs (such as the compliance committees Conference of the Parties [COPs] and/or Meeting of the Parties [MOPs]). There are already a great number of diverse compliance procedures attached to various MEAs, such as in the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (see United Nations Environment Programme 2000],cited under Montreal Protocol) and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (see United Nations 1998, cited under Kyoto Protocol). It should be kept in mind that MEAs and noncompliance procedures do not exist in a normative vacuum. Compliance theories are linked with general international law; for instance, in terms of the question of the use of countermeasures in compliance control and material breach of treaties. Even nonbinding norms may have a role in promoting compliance with obligations undertaken under MEAs. In practice, environmental compliance and the gradual evolution of compliance procedures in international environmental law is one of most vibrant and stimulating subject matters in international law and is still evolving.
Compliance and noncompliance procedures are key notions in international environmental law and are closely connected to the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Bodansky, et al. 2007 acknowledges the importance of compliance, implementation, and enforcement by devoting an entire part (Part VII) to the analysis of these notions and their related issues. Burgstaller 2005 offers an extensive analysis of the main theories of compliance, whereas Wolfrum 1998 takes on a more holistic approach by examining not only the theoretical foundations of compliance but also supplementing this with practical considerations and examples. Beyerlin, et al. 2006 describes the various noncompliance procedures (NCPs) that have been established under a number of MEAs and their advantages and disadvantages, and supplements this analysis with an examination of other compliance-related issues, such as sanctions, the connection with dispute settlement, and the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Similarly, Treves, et al. 2009 offers a detailed overview of specific NCPs to be found in MEAs and examines more general issues such as the structural and institutional aspects of NCPs and their relationship with general international law. Brown Weiss and Jacobson 1998 examines the compliance records of several states and identifies the factors leading to noncompliance and the lessons to be learned. Cameron, et al. 1996 and Paddock, et al. 2011 tackle the issue of how compliance can be achieved or improved.
Beyerlin, Ulrich, Peter-Tobias Stoll, and Rüdiger Wolfrum, eds. Ensuring Compliance with Multilateral Environmental Agreements: A Dialogue between Practitioners and Academia. Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2006.
This collection of essays focuses mainly on the function and complexities of the noncompliance procedures established by a number of MEAs but also examines wider theoretical issues of compliance, such as the issue of sanctions, the connection with dispute settlement, and the role of NGOs.
Bodansky, Daniel, Jutta Brunnée, and Ellen Hey, eds. The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law provides an analysis of the complex field of international environmental law in general and acknowledges the importance of compliance, implementation, and enforcement, in particular by devoting an entire part (Part VII) to the analysis of these issues.
Brown Weiss, Edith, and Harold Karan Jacobson, eds. Engaging Countries: Strengthening Compliance with International Environmental Accords. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998.
This volume of essays provides a detailed analysis of several states’ compliance records with five major international environmental agreements. These records are supplemented by an identification of the factors leading to noncompliance in each instance and the policy lessons that can be learned.
Burgstaller, Markus. Theories of Compliance with International Law. Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, 2005.
In this book, the author presents an extensive analysis of theories of compliance. He begins with the philosophical foundations of compliance, moves to a typology of the various theories, and caps this analysis with an examination and critical overview of the most notable of these theories.
Cameron, James, Jacob Werksman, and Peter Roderick, eds. Improving Compliance with International Environmental Law. London: Earthscan, 1996.
This volume of collected essays addresses the question of how the compliance record could be improved with respect to several MEAs without jeopardizing the fragile political consensus that is emerging on environmental issues. Several case studies are examined in depth.
Paddock, LeRoy, Du Qun, Louis Kotzé, David Markell, Kenneth Markowitz, and Durwood Zaelke, eds. Compliance and Enforcement in Environmental Law: Toward a More Effective Implementation. IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Series. Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2011.
This collection of essays both from academics and practitioners provides a perspective on how to achieve compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws. The issues examined range from enforcement of MEAs and compliance strategies, to the role of courts and citizens in compliance, to the protection of natural resources.
Treves, Tullio, Attila Tanzi, Cesare Pitea, Chiara Ragni, and Laura Pineschi, eds. Non-Compliance Procedures and Mechanisms and the Effectiveness of International Environmental Agreements. The Hague: TMC Asser, 2009.
This edited collection provides a comprehensive analysis of the various existing NCPs. Its contributors examine the NCPs in universal and regional environmental agreements as well as their structural and institutional aspects and their relationship with general international law.
Wolfrum, Rüdiger. “Means of Ensuring Compliance with and Enforcement of International Environmental Law.” Recueil des cours 272 (1998): 9–154.
Wolfrum presents a comprehensive analysis of the multitude of issues that pertain to the issue of compliance with and enforcement of international environmental law, ranging from theories of compliance and reasons for noncompliance to methods of promoting compliance as well as practical examples and case studies.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email email@example.com to express your interest.
- African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Af...
- Agreements, Bilateral and Regional Trade
- Agreements, Multilateral Environmental
- Arctic Region
- Armed Opposition Groups
- Aut Dedere Aut Judicare
- Bandung Conference, The
- Children's Rights
- Civil Service, International
- Collective Security
- Command Responsibility
- Common Heritage of Mankind
- Complementarity Principle
- Conspiracy/Joint Criminal Enterprise
- Constitutional Law, International
- Consular Relations
- Contemporary Catholic Approaches
- Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Cross-Border
- Courts, International
- Crimes against Humanity
- Criminal Law, International
- Cultural Rights
- Cyber Warfare
- Development Law, International
- Dispute Settlement
- Disputes, Peaceful Settlement of
- Drugs, International Regulation, and Criminal Liability
- Early 19th Century, 1789-1870
- Economic Law, International
- Enforcement of Human Rights
- Environmental Compliance Mechanisms
- Environmental Institutions, International
- Environmental Law, International
- European Arrest Warrant
- Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties
- Feminist Approaches to International Law
- Financial Law, International
- Foreign Investment
- Freedom of Expression
- French Revolution
- General Customary Law
- General Principles of Law
- Grotius, Hugo
- Habeas Corpus
- History of International Law, 1550-1700
- Hostilities, Direct Participation in
- Human Rights
- Human Rights and Regional Protection, Relativism and Unive...
- Human Rights, European Court of
- Human Rights, Foundations of
- Human Trafficking
- Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals
- Immunity, Sovereign
- Indigenous Peoples
- Institutional Law
- International and Non-International Armed Conflict, Detent...
- International Court of Justice
- International Criminal Court, The
- International Criminal Law, Complicity in
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law, Targeting in
- International Investment Arbitration
- International Law, Aggression in
- International Law, Climate Change and
- International Law, Hegemony in
- International Law, Military Intervention in
- International Law, Peacekeeping in
- International Law, Proportionality in
- International Law, Reasonableness in
- International Law, Self-Determination in
- International Law, State Responsibility in
- International Law, the State in
- International Law, the Turn to History in
- International Law, Unequal Treaties in
- International Law, Use of Force in
- International Trade and Human Rights
- Intervention, Humanitarian
- Investment Protection Treaties
- Islamic Law and Human Rights
- Jurisprudence (Judicial Law-Making)
- Jus Cogens
- Law of Treaties, The
- League of Nations, The
- Lebanon, Special Tribunal for
- Liability for International Environmental Harm
- Maritime Delimitation
- Martens Clause
- Medieval International Law
- Mens Rea, International Crimes
- Military Necessity
- Military Occupation
- Modes of Participation
- Most-Favored-Nation Clauses
- Multinational Corporations in International Law
- Nationality and Statelessness
- Natural Law
- New Approaches to International Law
- Non liquet
- Nonstate Actors
- Nuclear Proliferation
- Nuremberg Trials
- Organizations, International
- Palestine (and the Israel Question)
- Peace Treaties
- Political Science, International Law and
- Protection, Diplomatic
- Rational Choice Theory
- Russian Approaches to International Law
- Sanctions, International
- Soft Law
- Space Law
- Spanish School of International Law (c. 16th and 17th Cent...
- Sports Law, International
- State of Necessity
- State Succession
- Superior Orders
- Territorial Title
- Theory, Critical International Legal
- Transnational Corruption
- Treaty Interpretation
- Ukrainian Approaches
- Underwater Cultural Heritage
- Unilateral Acts
- Universal Jurisdiction
- Uti Possidetis Iuris
- Vatican and the Holy See
- Victims' Rights, International Criminal Law, and Proceedin...
- Watercourses, International
- Western Sahara