Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1995

Publication Citation

3 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 47 (1995)


Professor O'Connell discusses the tradtional methods used for international law "enforcement," and she argues that international law is generally obeyed Its enforcement is based primarily on compliance, not enforcement. Accordingly, the author argues against using international enforcement mechanisms to enforce international environmental law. Instead, she posits that domestic courts should be used for international environmental law enforcement, however, certain obstacles, such as sovereign immunity, the doctrine of standing, and the principle of forum non conveniens, must be overcome. Professor O'Connell argues that it may be possible to overcome many of these court-made obstacles to enforcing international law through domestic courts. She notes that, to this end, progress has been made in the area of human rights, especially with respect to war crimes. The author concludes by asserting that, because domestic courts have control over persons and assets, the need for "borrowing" the forum of domestic courts will increase as environmental rules become more directed at those individuals.