Indigenous Rights Case Law Database from CEPMLP

Court Interpretation of Indigenous Agreements: Database

The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) – University of Dundee (Scotland)

From the database description:

This database has been compiled from over 200 cases and articles from courts/tribunals in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The decisions collated for the database are those that interpret or apply documents involving indigenous parties. The database records, for each decision:

  • a brief summary of the decision (including URL where available);
  • the details of the document(s) involving indigenous parties; and
  • a summary of the court’s/tribunal’s engagement with that document.

The database’s search function allows users to focus and find decisions and articles according to particular need. For example, if researching the relevance of fiduciary obligations in relation to indigenous agreements, the database allows quick collation of all materials relevant to that.






Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

Looks like Prof. Don Anton’s round-up of international law publications will be a useful and timely resource.

Don Anton is a professor of international law at the Australian National  University College of Law.

Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

Table of Contents of the latest issue:

I. SSRN Legal Scholarship Network & bepress Legal Repository

II. Books

III. Law Journals

IV. Blogs/News Papers (Select Entries)

V. Gray Literature

VI. Documents


2 new journals for 2010: ILI Law Review and Arctic Review on Law & Politics

Indian Law Institute Law Review (free)

Volume 1, Issue 1

journal description:

The ILI Law Review is an initiative of the LL.M students of ILI to encourage scholarship in the fields of law and allied subjects among the budding scholars of ILI and other Universities and Colleges in India and abroad.  It is expected that the ILI Law Review will cater to the felt needs of scholars, researchers, lawyers, policy makers and dedicated law students in the diverse arenas of law

The ILI Law Review will be an Online Journal and each article submitted for publication goes through a three-tier selection process. The selection process includes vetting of the articles by students, experts from ILI faculty and finally by an external expert. There after the student editors of the journal edits the articles selected for publication as per the Journal of Indian Law Institute format.  It is also important to note that the ILI Law Review is proposed to be an environment friendly publication because at no stage of the publication papers are used. Many factors make the Law Review unique and different from other journals. It is the first online law journal in the country to be assigned with the ISSN code, which is indicative of its quality and standard. The involvement of students at every stage of the process ensures that they are exposed to editing procedures under expert guidance. As we believe in unconditional dissemination of knowledge, the journal is open-sourced and all articles are available free of any cost. Through its peer-reviewed processes and constant dedication to maintain international standards, the ILI Law Review aims to be a vehicle of quality legal scholarship within the country and abroad.

Arctic Review on Law and Politics.

Roughly $75 per year for two issues.

Journal description from their Web site:

Arctic Review on Law and Politics is a scientific journal with the goal to publish articles in the field of law and politics. Law and Politics is understood in a wide sense, as it also encompasses research in disciplines like economics, sociology, human geography and social anthropology.

The journal focuses on the arctic and the northern areas, and the aim is to provide new knowledge and understanding of fundamental issues in these areas and thus become a rostrum for debates over the development in the northern areas. The goal is to cover issues like management of resources, environmental issues including economic and legal questions of climate change, and law of the sea. Other topics of current interest are jurisdictional matters and indigenous people’s rights.

Arctic Review on Law and Politics takes aim to be an international journal at a high academic level, publishing peer reviewed articles in two volumes per year.

The journal is established in the «Arctic Capital» of Norway, Tromsø, where the editor-in-chief also is located. In addition to the editor, the editorial board consists of national co-editors from the other arctic countries; Canada, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Sweden and USA.

Hartwell Paper: A New Direction for Climate Change

The London School of Economics and Political Science recently released:  Hartwell Paper: A New Direction for Climate Change.

From the Executive Summary:

Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009. However, the currently dominant approach has acquired immense political momentum because of the quantities of political capital sunk into it. But in any case the UNFCCC/Kyoto model of climate policy cannot continue because it crashed in late 2009. The Hartwell Paper sets and reviews this context; but doing so is not its sole or primary purpose.

The crash of 2009 presents an immense opportunity to set climate policy free to fly at last. The principal motivation and purpose of this Paper is to explain and to advance this opportunity. To do so involves understanding and accepting a startling proposition. It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal. However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable. Therefore, the Paper advocates a radical reframing – an inverting – of approach: accepting that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.

The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.

It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy. It explains the political prerequisite of energy efficiency strategies as a first step and documents how this can achieve real emissions reductions. But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in non-carbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such money productively.

To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness –which has failed and will continue to fail.

Life Cycle Thinking and Assessment

The European Commission has created a Web site devoted to the environmental impact of designing, manufacturing, and disposing of products, services, and energy. The site includes publications and a glossary. Life cycle information impacts agriculture, manufacturing, energy, waste management, constriction, and retail sales.

Life Cycle Thinking and Assessment

From the description

Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) seeks to identify possible improvements to goods and services in the form of lower environmental impacts and reduced use of resources across all life cycle stages. This begins with raw material extraction and conversion, then manufacture and distribution, through to use and/or consumption. It ends with re-use, recycling of materials, energy recovery and ultimate disposal.

The key aim of Life Cycle Thinking is to avoid burden shifting. This means minimising impacts at one stage of the life cycle, or in a geographic region, or in a particular impact category, while helping to avoid increases elsewhere. For example, saving energy during the use phase of a product, while not increasing the amount of material needed to provide it.

Taking a life cycle perspective requires a policy developer, environmental manager or product designer to look beyond their own knowledge and in-house data. It requires cooperation up and down the supply chain. At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to use the knowledge that has been gathered to gain signicant economic advantages.

Book – Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts

The University of Denver has posted an online version of the following book on environmental courts in foreign countries.

Greening Justice: Creating and Improving Environmental Courts

George Pring and Katherine Pring

Access Initiative, 2009

Book description:

Over the last three decades judicial institutions in some

countries have responded to environmental challenges

in innovative ways. Perhaps the best example is the

Green Bench of the Supreme Court of India that hears

public interest environmental cases filed by citizens.

In other countries, Governments have set up specialized

environmental courts and tribunals. The Land and

Environment Court of New South Wales, Australia, is a

leading example of a specialized court. Over 350 specialized

environmental courts and tribunals have been

established in 41 countries.

Nevertheless, most citizens still lack adequate access to

justice. Comparative research to help us with a deeper

understanding of the capabilities and impact of these

institutions is almost non-existent. Greening Justice:

Creating and Improving Environmental Courts and Tribunals

seeks to fill this knowledge gap in the hope that all

those involved in creating or improving these specialized

institutions will have the benefit of a growing body

of global experiences.

George and Catherine Pring, a professor at the University

of Denver Sturm College of Law and a professional

mediator, respectively, from Colorado, authored this

volume based on field research they completed over the

last two years. They have interviewed judges, lawyers,

litigants, officials, and civil society representatives in

dozens of countries to unravel the key characteristics —

the “building blocks” — which contribute to making

environmental courts and tribunals effective in providing

citizen access to justice in environmental matters.

They identified 12 such characteristics and present them

with examples of successes and failures from around

the world. For those involved in creating or improving

environmental courts and tribunals, one of the most

useful aspects is the examples of best available practices

relating to each of the 12 characteristics. The volume

also provides a framework against which to assess existing

or proposed institutions.

Ecosystem Marketplace

The Ecosystem Marketplace is a Web site devoted to information on environmental and climate change markets. The “library” link includes the following resources: latest laws, reports, whitepapers, articles, presentations, case studies, and books. The site also has a blog (EcoEko).

Ecosystem Marketplace

From the Web site description:

The Ecosystem Marketplace seeks to become the world’s leading source of information on markets and payment schemes for ecosystem services; services such as water quality, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. We believe that by providing solid and trust-worthy information on prices, regulation, science, and other market-relevant issues, markets for ecosystem services will one day become a fundamental part of our economic and environmental system, helping give value to environmental services that have, for too long, been taken for granted.

Country Profiles from UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

A nice complement to the “CIA World Fact Book” are the Country Profiles from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Although not as detailed as the World Fact Book, the FCO site does provide historical information with important dates and details on trade and investment policy for individual nations. Some country profiles also include paragraphs on environmental and climate change policy (e.g. Brazil).

Country Profiles – Foreign and Commonwealth Office

WTO-UNEP report on Trade and Climate Change

The World Trade Organization and the UN Environment Programme released their 194 page report on international trade and climate change.

WTO-UNEP Report: Trade and Climate Change

Additional information at:

From the report’s’ executive summary:

This Report provides an overview of the key linkages

between trade and climate change based on a review

of available literature and a survey of relevant national

policies. It begins with a summary of the current state

of scientific knowledge on existing and projected

climate change; on the impacts associated with climate

change; and on the available options for responding,

through mitigation and adaptation, to the challenges

posed by climate change (Part I).


The scientific review is followed by an analysis on the

economic aspects of the link between trade and climate

change (Part II), and these two parts set the context for

the subsequent discussion in the Report, which reviews

in greater detail trade and climate change policies at

both the international and national level.


Part III on international policy responses to climate

change describes multilateral efforts at reducing

greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to the

risks posed by climate change, and also discusses the

role of the current trade and environment negotiations

in promoting trade in climate mitigation technologies.


The final part of the Report gives an overview of a

range of national policies and measures that have been

used in a number of countries to reduce greenhouse gas

emissions and to increase energy efficiency (Part IV). It

presents key features in the design and implementation

of these policies, in order to draw a clearer picture of their

overall effect and potential impact on environmental

protection, sustainable development and trade. It also

gives, where appropriate, an overview of the WTO

rules that may be relevant to such measures.

Two Web sites for researching environmental law and sustainable development issues in India

Here are two Web sites that are useful for keeping up with environmental issues and sustainable development in India. Based in New Delhi, the Centre for Science and Environment provides updates, reports and policy papers on air pollution, pollution monitoring, rainwater, natural resource management, and environment education.  The Centre also maintains a companion Web site “India Environment Portal” with additional publications and news reports on dozens of natutal resource and sustainability topics.

Centre for Science and Environment


India Environment Portal