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Part VI Actors, Ch.35 The State

Thilo Marauhn

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

International environmental law — Sovereignty — Responsibility of states

This chapter assesses the role of the state in international environmental law. The starting point is the Westphalian notion of states' unimpaired freedom of action, increasingly revealed as a ‘myth’. The chapter then considers ideas of contemporary statehood—an element of a global system of environmental governance. Contemporary statehood and its relevance for international environmental law can best be illuminated by focusing on the roles assumed by states as authors, addressees, and guardians of international law. Finally, the chapter discusses the changing role of states in light of ongoing transformations in the international legal system, including the growing plurality of actors, norms, and institutions, as well as the growth of inter-linked networks of states and other actors.

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