The 21th Helsinki Summer Seminar on International Law 18-29.8.2008

International Law, the Environment and Power

Since the rise of environmental consciousness in the 1960’s and 70’s, the body of international norms relating to the protection of the environment has grown exponentially, and the trend of “greening” international law and institutions has continued strong even in the new millennium. While the justifications for global environmental regulation are often universal and idealist, the fact remains that international environmental law is not neutral in world politics. Indeed, the question can be raised whether international law has, in fact, been successful in advancing green ideals and preventing environmental degradation. Or has it, instead, only legitimised the continuation of environmentally harmful activities and resulted in excessive bureaucracy and process-driven managerialism? How about the impact of this increasingly specialised legal sphere on the fragmentation of international law and, indeed, the distribution of power and resources in world politics?

The 21st Helsinki Summer Seminar on International Law aims to provide a forum for critically discussing the possibilities and prospects of international law in protecting the global environment and to advance `justice´, that is, a more equal share of global risks and resources between different states and other stakeholders.

Dr. Maria Gutierrez, (City University of New York)
Professor Ellen Hey, (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Dr. Kati Kulovesi, (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Professor Tuomas Kuokkanen, (University of Joensuu, Ministry of Environment)
Dr. China Miéville, Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck, (University of London, School of Law)
Professor Ileana Porras, (Arizona State University)
Dr. Peter H. Sand, (University of Münich)