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Sinking without a life jacket? Sea level rise and the position of small island states in international law

Markovic, V. and Annandale, D. (2000) Sinking without a life jacket? Sea level rise and the position of small island states in international law. Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 5 (2). pp. 135-155.

Abstract

For some low-lying small island States in the Asia Pacific, a consequence of sea level rise could be partial or even total inundation. Little attention has been given to the options these States might have in international law to halt the potential rise of global sea levels, or to seek special assistance if this disaster cannot be avoided or mitigated. It is argued that the most fruitful course of action for small island States in international law may be to force compliance with the procedural norms of environmental impact assessment, information provision, and consultation, that are contained within two recent multilateral environmental treaties. It is contended that this course of action would not involve having to prove damage and assign liability. The only possibility for refugee status would be reliance on a tentative emerging argument that the definition of a refugee is being extended in customary law.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/17428
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