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POLB81H3 Study Guide - Exclusive Economic Zone, Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB81H3
Professor
Wiafe- Amaoko

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Summary- International Law
International Law is a law that governs the relations between states.
Only states are subjects of international law and can bring a claim to ICJ; certain international
organizations have acquired international legal personalities making them subjects of
international law.
Sources of International Law include International conventions (Treaties); International custom;
General principles of Law; and Legal Scholarships.
Jus cogens: are principles or norms of international law that is based on values taken to be
fundamental to the international community that cannot be disregarded. Or a fundamental
principle accepted as a universal norm.
Enforcement of international law depends on the power and willingness of states to punish
those that violate the laws; Reciprocity principle is also critical in enforcing international law.
The International Court of Justice is the primary judiciary organ of the United Nations.
It addresses only legal disputes submitted to it by states; i.e. only states can sue and be sued at
the ICJ. (Contentious Cases)
Also gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by other UN organs and authorized
agencies (Advisory proceedings)
International Law includes the Law of Sovereignty (Law of diplomacy); Just War doctrine
(Geneva Conventions, POWs); Law of the Sea (Internal, Territorial, Exclusive Economic Zones-
EEZ, and the High Seas).
Summary- Environment
Environmental issues are embodied in the debate between individual and collective interest.
The conceptual explanation of how the environment is threatened is embodied in the “Tragedy
of the Commons”. Failure to manage the commons brings ruin to all.
Malthus and Hardin warned about the potential dangers of growth to the environment.
Externality: occurs when a decision imposes costs or provides benefits to individuals other than
the person making the decision; it can also refer to unintended consequences of an activity. Eg
Driving a car pollution
International Treaties on the management of the environment include the Montreal Protocol
(regarding Ozone depletion); Kyoto protocol (Global warming and control of greenhouse gases);
Rio Summit (sustainable Development)
Possible solution to deal with the environmental problems include Privatization; Division to
smaller numbers; Selective incentives; Institutions
Summary- International Organization
Institutions are a set of customs, practices, relationships, or behavioral patterns of importance
in the life of a community or society; institutions are the rules of the game, the norms that
regulate behavior; they generate repetitive and predictable behavior; they define the social
constraints and opportunities that actors face.
Benefits: increased cooperation, stability, prosperity, the emergence of governance
Cost: decreased Sovereignty, new Dimensions of Conflict, restricted ability of governments to
react to local needs and values as well as to rapid changes and shocks
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