Development of new sanctions and mechanisms in international environmental law for efficient and effective protection of the environment

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran

3 President of the Canadian Institute for International Law Expertise (CIFILE), Toronto, Canada


Introduction: The international community includes states that enact and execute the rules and regulations of international law. The basis of international law derives from the need for states to coexist in the international community. In other words, the states cannot be forced to accept a new rule when they do not agree. However, sanctions are based on a mutual structure including diplomatic protest and countermeasures influencing the behavior of states. In addition, some sanctions have been enacted in environmental law, after breach of obligation for more protection of the environment based on erga omnes. In addition to the sanctions, some mechanisms have been enacted by international organizations and states for support and protection of the environment before breach of obligation. The present study aims to explain and evaluate the development of new sanctions and mechanisms in international environmental law for efficient and effective protection of the environment and offer solutions for handling legal challenges in executing the obligations and assessing the adequacy of classic sanctions and mechanisms in international environmental law.
Material and methods: The method was descriptive-analytical and the data were collected based on library study and reference to documents by searching the Internet. Therefore, with a descriptive and analytical method and relying on library resources and existing data, in the first part, the existing mechanisms and executive guarantees in the field of environmental protection are reviewed, and in the second part, new mechanisms and executive guarantees and reasons are examined.
Results and discussion: The main research question states; whether new sanctions and mechanisms are emerging in international environmental law for more protection of the environment based on theoretical foundations. investigate the new sanctions and mechanisms emerging in international environmental law to further protect the environment.  This research expresses the inefficiency of classic sanctions including civil and criminal ones and classic mechanisms for the protection of the environment by separating the concept of sanction from mechanism. Based on the results, new limitations such as green taxes, environmental insurance, and Environmental Damage Fund (EDF) have been emerging and developing due to the specific nature of environmental issues and their relationship with the necessity of creating and developing new sanctions and mechanisms, and given that the development fails to be enough for protection of the environment due to the existing limitations, despite the  development of classic sanctions and mechanisms.
Conclusion: In environmental law, two types of new sanctions have been identified and developed for efficient and effective protection of the environment, which include "pay compensation without agreement and going to the court in cases of severe damage to the environment" and "compliance and noncompliance control of member states to environmental conventions". 


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