1 Climate L. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/climatla1 and id is 1 raw text is: Climate Law 1 (2010)12                                                          1
DOI 10.3233/CL-2010-001
IOS Press
This issue appears at a time when the international regime's flagship law, the Kyoto Protocol,
has taken a battering that's left it leaking and rudderless. The framework law to which it is
appended seems by contrast to have been little affected by the new (or is it old?) dissonance,
except of course in its now doubtful assumption that the global problem will be solved by all the
states working together. That apart, the framework's fundamental administrative ambition-to
compile information on emissions, policies, scientific knowledge, and physical impacts-has
become normalized. It's not much; and with climate law fragmented where it does exist, and
seemingly (by the end of 2009) having exhausted its early evolutionary momentum, we are
challenged to see what we have and to imagine what we want. Meanwhile, the study of climate
law, as a new interest, is finding its feet, as some of the articles in this issue demonstrate. There is
an evident concern in the first two pieces with definitional quandaries (Osofsky's term) and how
to see and classify the new objects in the field (especially where they are connected with courts
and tribunals); and, further along in the issue, with what to expect of legal actions that may yet
materialize, and with an underscoring of the fact that entrenched interests can be just as creative
and successful in climate-related litigation as reformers occasionally have been. Dissociated
from court work, climate law can quickly lose its definition. To students of international law
that's nothing remarkable. Partial regulatory systems have been put in place (agriculture and
forestry are still too hard; adaptation finance a mere promise) whose implications are only now
being worked out (the CDM) and whose continuation is decided in fits and starts or is known to be
uncertain (CCS). Matters are no tidier at the EU level. Even conceptualizing country-level events,
as one of our book reviewers in this issue has eloquently done elsewhere for the Australian scene
(Jacqueline Peel, Climate Change Law: The Emergence of a New Legal Discipline, 32 Melb.
U. L. Rev. 922, 2008) is difficult to pull off well, for at that level so much of the change has been
left to chance or good luck. There's also the inescapable interdisciplinarity of climate-change
studies which adds challenge to the writing, but much pleasure to the reading, and which this
journal's pages will always welcome. Against this background, one editorial presumption is that
pretty much everything that happens under the UNFCCC or against it has a legal angle; to be
distinguished, of course, from the extrasolar quality of legally binding, which is not always
necessary for actual regulation. Oberthuir and Lefeber describe the delicate balance they and their
colleagues must strike in the operation of the Kyoto Protocol's compliance system. Here we have

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