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Law-making at the intersection of international environmental, humanitarian, and criminal law: the issue of damage to the environment in international armed conflict

30-09-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 879, by Julian Wyatt

This article identifies how international law rules for cross-sectoral problems may appropriately combine the existing expertise and institutional strengths of simultaneously applicable branches of international law, and also discovers how an evaluation of the ultimate appropriateness of the cross-sectoral rules adopted may be substantially affected by the different frames of reference that are used by those working within the different fields.

Abstract

The relationship between international environmental law and international humanitarian law, like relationships between many other subsystems of contemporary international law, has not yet been articulated. The problem of environmental damage in international armed conflict lies at the intersection of these two branches and thus provides an ideal opportunity to investigate this relationship. Rather than simply evaluating the applicable international law rules in their context, we break them into elements that we separately assess from both (international) environmental law and international humanitarian/international criminal law perspectives. By doing so, we identify how international law rules for cross-sectoral problems may appropriately combine the existing expertise and institutional strengths of simultaneously applicable branches of international law, and also discover how an evaluation of the ultimate appropriateness of the cross-sectoral rules adopted may be substantially affected by the different frames of reference that are used by those working within the different fields.

Biography

Julian Wyatt is Teaching and Research Assistant, and PhD Candidate in the Department of Public International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva. He is also a barrister and solicitor admitted to practise in the High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria.


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