The legal character of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in international environmental law and the law of the sea

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
“The earth is one but the world is not" based on the de facto economic and social differences expressed in this statement. the principle of Common but differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) was developed and, most extensively, laid down in contemporary environmental agreements: By focusing on the most significant of these environmental agreements and its evolvement therein, and putting special emphasis on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (1982 LOS Convention), this dissertation aims to examine the legal character of Me principle of CBDR. Starting with analysing the constituting elements of CBDR, this work finds dial, since "the earth is one," common responsibilities exist, as the threats to humankind posed by environmental degradation are shared by all nations. It continues by proving that "differentiating" is in conformity with today's concept of sovereign equality of States. In this context, it discusses those fields where differentiation is made in favour of developing and developed countries. Here it is shown that in several areas of general Public International Law, such as the Security Council of die United Nations, differentiation in favour of some countries exists. When examining the legal foundations, which are distinct from the legal character, yet constitute an important step for the determination of CBDR's legal nature, one of the most controversial issues between developed and developing countries is reached; 'the question, if historical contributions to environmental degradation shall form a basis for differentiation. Although contested by the developed nations, this dissertation finds that historical (as do similar present contributions) do indeed form, together with those nations' advanced financial and technical capabilities, a viable basis for differentiation to effectively combat threats common to the earth as a whole. Core to die determination of the legal character is the analysis of usage of CBDR in multilateral environmental agreements and the 1982 LOS Convention. this context, the work finds that the temp CBDR is non- uniformity used, and its legal scope vanes Between the agreements. In conclusion, the dissertation determines that, due to Re reluctance expressed in their Manifold reservations against such interpretation, the developed, nations were able to hinder the elevation of the principle of CRDB to Customary Public International law Rather, in order to avoid creating a binding effect, the principle of CBDR was carefully limited to a legally difficult to classify form of 'more authoritative' ‘Soft Law,'-- i.e. a vague form between Customary public International Law and the former. The Concept's vagueness is thus similar bathe Principle of Common Heritage of Mankind – on which it is, inter alia, based – and reflects like the letter’s prominent But empty position in the 1982 LOS convention that vesting the notion of ‘common’ With legal significance, let alone setting down obligatory burden- sharing is far from reality The world has still not realised that it is “one”
Available in print form, University Dar es Salaam, Wilbert Chagula Class mark (FOL THS HC79.E5K53)
Environmental law, International law, Law of the sea, Environmental policy
Knaebe, T(2006)The legal character of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in international environmental law and the law of the sea, Master Dissertation, University of Dar es salaam