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Sustainable Development LawPrinciples, Practices, and Prospects$
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Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger and Ashfaq Khalfan

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276707.001.0001

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Sustainable Development in Policy and in Law

Sustainable Development in Policy and in Law

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Sustainable Development in Policy and in Law
Source:
Sustainable Development Law
Author(s):

Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger

Ashfaq Khalfan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276707.003.0004

Sustainable development has been accepted as global policy. The concept appears, as a preambular reference, in most international statements and declarations related to environmental, social and economic issues since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. However, for the purposes of this chapter, it is important to consider the legal status of sustainable development in international law. It is not clear that “sustainable development”, as such, can be accurately described as a single emerging principle of international environmental law, or as a customary norm that will eventually be accepted as binding on all States. First, as is discussed in this chapter with regard to differences between international law on sustainable development, and international environmental law, sustainable development is not only about protection of the environment. Secondly, as noted by David Freestone, Vaughan Lowe, and others, it is perhaps unlikely that sustainable development has become a customary norm of international law.

Keywords:   sustainable development, policy, Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, international law, environmental law

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