9 Student Advoc. 1 (1997)

handle is hein.journals/nlsind9 and id is 1 raw text is: IS IT TIME FOR AN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?
Vikram Raghavan*
Fifty years after the inauguration of the Charter of the United Nations
(Charter) and its adjunct, Statute of the International Court of Justice (Statute),'
environmental issues have come to the fore. If the emphasis of the United Nations
in the fifties was on recovery from the devastating effect of the world war, the
sixties on the era of the cold wars, the seventies the time when development issues
came to the fore, the eighties the period of human rights and revolutions, the
environment promises to engage its attention in the nineties.2 Interestingly, this
trend coincides with the decade of the international law being celebrated by the
United Nations, the theme being strengthening international law and international
institutions.3 With this importance being given to international law governing the
environment, increasingly strident calls have been made to institutionalise environ-
mental protection and conservation by suitably amending the Charter if necessary.4
*   V Year B.A., LL.B. (lons.), National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
I   Art. 92 of the Charter of the United Nations states that the International Court of Justice shall
be the principal judicial organ of the Organisation, and shall be governed by the Statute that is
annexed to tie Charter. see. Charter of the United Nations (Charter), Art. 92.
2   An important aspect of tis has been the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, that was perhaps one
of the largest gathetings of both official and non-governmental representatives ever held. Here,
considerable progress was made in defining and consolidating legal not ms that would help protect
and conserve the environment. See. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. U.N.
Doe. A/ Coif. 151/5/26 reprinted in 31 I.L.M. 74 (1992). See generally, Peter II. Sand, UNCED
and the Development of International Environmental Law. 3 Y.B. Int'l. Env. L. 1 (1992); Mann,
The Rio Declaration 86 Am. S. Int'l. L. Proc. 405. (1992). This coincided with he International
Court of Justice being seized of two controversies ihat inter alia had major environmental issues
tmvolved, see, infra n. 42-45, 53 and 57.
3   See, H.E. Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral, President of the United General Assembly. Address
at the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the International Court of Justice (Apr 18, 1996),
in ICJ Communique No. 96/15 (Apr 19, 1996).
4   Writing just before the Rio Summit, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, made out a strong case for institution
building in relation to the environment. He lamented about the lack of any organised method by
which negotiations relating to the environment were conducted and made elaborate suggestions
for the framework of a proposed organisation in relation to the environment. Interestingly Palmer -
states:
In truth, the United Nations lacks any coherent institutional mechanism for dealing effectively
with environmental issues. Strengthening its capacity and structure should be high on the list of
priorities for the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development. The Charter itself provides
no environmental organ, an onission that would be certainly be rectified if it were being drafted
today, In no respect is the Charter more a product of its times thanl in its disregard of the
environment..
Palmer, New Ways to make International Environmental Law, 86 Am. J. Int'l. L. 259 at 260
(1992) (emphasis mine).

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