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Part II Analytical Approaches, Ch.15 The Role of Science

Sam Johnston

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 March 2023

Natural resources — Climate change — Fisheries

This chapter reflects on the crucial and multifaceted role of science in international environmental law, identifying and framing its challenges, threats, and problems. The role of science in international environmental law has been the subject of vigorous debate, focusing around competing claims concerning the need for action in almost every area of environmental regulation, such as climate change, restrictions on use of areas or resources such as fisheries, and restrictions on ‘dangerous’ substances such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The developing jurisprudence on the role of science in international environmental law articulated by various international tribunals such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) highlights the important role that science plays in this field. The chapter then considers how science has influenced international environmental law and in turn, how international environmental law has contributed to the promotion of science. An emerging issue highlighted in the chapter is the increasing politicization of science and the need to understand the limitations of science.

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