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International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics

By: Alexander Gillespie(Author)

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jul 2014 | Edition: 2 | #212923 | ISBN-13: 9780198713456
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About this book

This second edition of International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics revises and expands this groundbreaking study into the question of why the environment is protected in the international arena. This question is rarely asked because it is assumed that each member of the international community wants to achieve the same ends. However, in his innovative study of international environmental ethics, Alexander Gillespie explodes this myth. He shows how nations, like individuals, create environmental laws and policies which are continually inviting failure, as such laws can often be riddled with inconsistencies, and be ultimately contradictory in purpose. Specifically, he seeks a nexus between the reasons why nations protect the environment, how these reasons are reflected in law and policy, and what complications arise from these choices.

International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics takes account of the numerous developments in international environmental law and policy that have taken place the publication of the first edition, most notably at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the 2012 'Rio + 20' United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Furthermore, it addresses recent debates on the economic value of nature, and the problems of the illegal trade in species and toxic waste. The cultural context has also been considerably advanced in the areas of both intangible and tangible heritage, with increasing attention being given to conservation, wildlife management, and the notion of protected areas. The book investigates the ways in which progress has been made regarding humane trapping and killing of animals, and how, in contrast, the Great Apes initiative, and similar work with whales, have failed. Finally, International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics addresses the fact that while the notion of ecosystem management has been embraced by a number of environmental regimes, it has thus far failed as an international philosophy.

Reviews from the previous edition:

"[...] a short but incisive review of the foundations of international environmental law [...] Gillespie is impressive in his use of a plethora of international environmental conventions, declarations and statements to support his arguments. [...] thought-provoking [...] raises questions about IEL which to date have rarely been seriously addressed [...]"
Lawyers Weekly

"a very interesting and well-written work [...] this study can contribute to a better understanding of the issues raised in choosing the "best" means to protect the environment."
- Edward H.P. Brans REC EL vol 8 issue 2 1999.

Related titles

See the previous edition

International Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics

This book is concerned with the question of why the environment is...

NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€34 approx


1. Anthropocentricism
2. The Self Interest Justification for Environmental Protection
3. The Use of Economic Rationale As A Justification for Environmental Protection
4. Religious Justifications for Environmental Protection
5. Aesthetic, Cultural, and Recreational Justifications
6. The Rights of Future Generations as a Justification for Environmental Protection
7. The Growth of New, Non-Anthropocentric Ideals Within International Environmental Law
8. The Moral Considerability of Animals
9. Respect for Life
10. The Land Ethic
11. Conclusion

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Professor Alexander Gillespie is the first New Zealander to be named Rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, involving international environmental diplomacy. Professor Gillespie is also the legal and policy advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Conservation and provides commissioned work for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and commercial and non-governmental organisations in New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland. He has written over thirty articles that have been published in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been awarded a Rotary International Scholarship, Fulbright Fellowship, Rockerfeller Fellowship, and a number of smaller domestic awards.


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