Sustainable Justice: Reconciling Economic, Social and Environmental Law

Sustainable Justice: Reconciling Economic, Social and Environmental Law

Sustainable Justice: Reconciling Economic, Social and Environmental Law

Sustainable Justice: Reconciling Economic, Social and Environmental Law


This book offers a cutting-edge scholarly discussion of judicial and legal methods to reconcile national and international economic, social and environmental law for sustainable development. A diverse anthology of perspectives from developed and developing countries, the book contains contributions from judges, international lawyers and other experts with a wealth of experience in the emerging field of sustainable development law. It presents negotiators, scholars and jurists with a lively, thought-provoking and highly current discussion of international legal debates related to sustainable development. The final part discusses future developments in sustainable development law, based on the results of three recent international processes. Sustainable Justice weaves a diverse and intriguing collection, reflecting a vigorous yet practical international legal debate of crucial importance to our common future.


Harold. H. Koh

Perhaps the most intriguing development, in today's process of globalization, has been the emergence and growth of a large body of transnational law that is fundamentally public in its character. This volume provides an essential collection of scholarly and judicial insights into one of the most fascinating areas of this emerging transnational law: sustainable development.

Domestic and international legal processes will soon become so integrated that we will no longer know whether to characterize certain concepts as local or global in nature. Is the metric system of standards fundamentally national or international? Is the use of the Internet fundamentally national or international? And is the objective of sustainable development fundamentally national or international? None of these questions are really worth asking any more. In each case, the answer is so obviously ‘both.’ All have become, over time, genuinely transnational concepts, in which a global concept has become fully recognized, integrated, and internalized into the domestic system of nearly every nation of the world. Transnational public law is neither fully international, nor is it based only on one domestic law or another. It is both. Many domestic actors face similar dilemmas, and seek international guidance, while many international jurists and law-makers seek examples from national jurisprudence and regulations. International rules are shaped by national actors, international courts influence and guide national judicial decisions.

At the areas of overlap between human rights, economic and environmental, at the essence of public law, this reinforcing transnational influence is profound and immediate. The present volume makes a valuable contribution to the analysis and development of a transnational public law, a law that I believe is real and extremely necessary. The principles and legal instruments which can reconcile environment, developmental and economic law must be developed and strengthened through a web of regulations and treaties, jurisprudence and tribunal decisions, between the national, the regional and the global level. No solution stands alone. Each level references the other.

In sustainable development law, transnational legal process is the primary mechanism for the creation and internalization of norms crucial to the survival of our species, and to the urgent, pressing needs of the majority of our worlds' populations. The key will be successful internalization of the norms of

Harold Hongju Koh, A.B. (Harvard), B.A. (Oxon, Marshall Scholar), J.D., (Harvard), M.A. (Oxon). Dean,
Yale Law School, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School.

H. H. Koh, “The Globalization of Freedom” (2001) 26 Yale J. Int'/lL. 305 at 306.

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