GlobaLex, the online research collection at the New York University Law School, has just published an updated version of its Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research
"International environmental law is an ever-changing, constantly expanding, and intriguing topic for international legal research. When decisions and collaborations occur between nations across international boundaries and treaties or agreements are made to cooperate for environmental concerns, disputes inevitably transpire because of trade implications for the respective nations, safety concerns and cleanliness of environmental resources among shared borders, or problems with enforcement mechanisms for liability under agreements or treaty provisions relating to the environment. The vastness of this area of international law includes the environmental sub-issues of population, biodiversity, global climate change, ozone depletion, preserving the Antarctic regions, movement of toxic and hazardous substances, land or vessel-based pollution, dumping, conservation of marine living resources, trans-boundary air and water pollution, desertification, and nuclear damage, among others. To begin research in international environmental law, a researcher should have a basic understanding of international law and authority: for example, knowledge of treaty research and an awareness of the types of international agreements and their effect in nations of the world as result of reservations, understandings, or declarations. As noted in this research guide, the number of international environmental treaties is manageable by sub-topic, so identification of the appropriate sub-topic or category of international environmental law is essential to narrowly tailor research and avoid getting bogged down in the wealth of information. Like many areas of international law, regulation and implementation of the treaty terms are at the national level. Thus, some knowledge and research of foreign laws in the countries of focus for a research problem is necessary for thorough research and analysis. This guide will provide an overview of the key terms, general starting points by sub-topic of international environmental law and correlating treaties and agreements, a summary of the essential websites and secondary sources for international environmental legal research, and an approach for researching the primary law of foreign jurisdictions for this topic. Finally, an overview of the prominent international organizations and correlating documentation produced for international environmental law and blogs for current awareness in this field will be provided for a comprehensive overview."
Labels: environmental law, legal research and writing