International Environmental Law Research Guide

Resources for researching international environmental law.

Introduction to International Environmental Law

In the 40+ years since the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, international environmental law has grown significantly. The main sources for this body of law are treaties and customary international law. Some of the customary international law concepts or principles (those generally accepted by nations) in regards to environmental law are:

  • State Responsibility - states may be held accountable for their actions
  • Freedom of the High Seas - including freedom of fishing, subject to conservation obligations
  • State Sovereignity - of the natural resources within its jurisdiction
  • Self-defense - the state's right to defend, such as against an impending asteroid collision
  • Duty to Cooperate - states must cooperate to protect the environment

This guide provides a quick overview of the international environmental law resources available in the UC Law SF Library, in subscription databases, and on the Internet.