Dirk Hanschel
Environment and Human Rights : Cooperative Means of Regime Implementation

Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 29
ISSN: 1437-8574

This paper carries out a comparative analysis of cooperative, negotiation-oriented means of treaty implementation in the fields of human rights and environmental protection. The effectiveness of the relevant institutions and procedures is examined on the basis of the examples of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights including its two Protocols, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the ozone treaties and the climate change treaties.
In the course of analysis, these treaties are classified as international regimes which set in motion a dynamic process of negotiation-oriented implementation through international monitoring bodies. The comparison shows that while both fields of international law have a lot in common (such as the rather modest level of compliance and the lack of confrontational enforcement mechanisms), there are also important institutional and procedural differences. While some elements of institutional design are due to the peculiarities of the respective issue-area (such as the procedure of joint implementation under the environmental treaties), there are others (such as the existence of an integrated political treaty body or the use of the framework-protocol approach) which might serve as a model for both fields.
In his conclusions the author states that the regime concept is able to handle problems of implementation if it is applied more persistently in both fields of international law. Questions of effective implementation should be integrated into the whole process of negotiation and treaty-drafting. Otherwise, instruments are designed which may be ratified by a large number of states, but become "sleeping treaties", because they are not properly implemented. While most of the existing cooperative, negotiation-type procedures contribute considerably to effective implementation, they need to be backed up by a greater power of the relevant institutions, including the option to switch from cooperation to confrontation.