Publication Citation

2 (2) IUSTITIA 49 (1974)


In the future, as in the past, one function of international law will be to formalize and clarify procedures to deal with emergent problems. The international environmental developments noted in this paper, e.g. global monitoring, supervision of the seabed, protection of endangered species, resource allocation, and many others, will require institutional arrangements differing from those with which nations have had experience. Innovation in legal principles and procedures is an almost certain consequence of such developments. Innovations in principle have been among the more obvious outputs of the international environmental conferences and programs since 1968. As these principles are translated, often reluctantly, into operations and regulations, procedural questions are sure to arise, and these will probably necessitate the invention of fact-finding, rule-making, and adjudicative machinery that does not now exist. In an electronic age, the deliberative procedures of traditional international law may prove unadaptable to the needs of nations trying to cope under constraints of time with highly complex and often technical problems involving conflict with other nations. Thus the emergence of a new international law for the environment is as safely predictable as any other probable social development. But its outlines, beyond the very general configurations identified in this paper, cannot now clearly be foreseen.