Document Type : Article


1 Assistant Prof. Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in International Law, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Today the preservation of the environment has become one of the most pressing concerns among the global community. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and freshwater depletion pose significant environmental threats, and their distinctive attributes have transformed them into transnational issues. As a result, the situation in question necessitates the need for involvement of international law, particularly the system for the settlement of international disputes. This paper uses a descriptive-analytical method to explain the role of international arbitral tribunals in the development of international environmental law. The findings of this study show how international arbitral tribunals, despite normative insufficiency and existing legal gaps, have been able to recognize and address environmental considerations while complying with treaties concluded between states. Such effective function of arbitration courts has led the awards of international arbitral tribunals to play a significant role in the application, enforcement, and as a result, development of international environmental law.


Main Subjects

  1. English

    1. A) Books
    2. Allott, P. (2002). the Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State. Cambridge University Press.
    3. Louka, E. (2006). International Environmental Law. Cambridge University Press.
    4. Merrills, J. G. (2011). International Dispute Settlement. [5 ed.], Cambridge University Press.
    5. Sands, P., Peel, J., Fabra, A., & MacKenzie, R. (2018). Principles of International Environmental Law. [4 ed.], Cambridge University Press.
    6. Stephens, T. (2009). International Courts and Environmental Protection. Cambridge University Press.


    1. B) Articles
    2. Bilder, R.B. (1975). The settlement of disputes in the field of international law of the environment, Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law, 139–240.
    3. Garimella, S. R. (2016). Environmental Dispute Resolution, ADR Methods and the PCA Arbitration Rules. ILI Law Review, 199-222.
    4. Mathias Kondolf, Yongxuan Gao, GeorgeW. Annandale, Gregory L. Morris, Enhui Jiang, Junhua Zhang, Yongtao Cao, Paul Carling, Kaidao Fu, Qingchao Guo, Rollin Hotchkiss, Christophe Peteuil, Tetsuya Sumi, Hsiao-Wen Wang, Zhongmei Wang, Zhilin Wei, Baosheng Wu, Caiping Wu, and Chih Ted Yang (2014). Sustainable sediment management in reservoirs and regulated rivers: Experiences from five continents, earth's future, 2 (5), 256-280.
    5. Prunella, C. (2014. An International Environmental Law case study: The Trail smelter arbitration, available at: Last visited: 21 December 2021.


    1. C) Table of Cases
    2. Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration (Mauritius v. United Kingdom), 18 March 2015.
    3. Fur Seal arbitration (Great Britain v. United States) 15 August 1893, UN Doc, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Vol. XXVIII, 2007.
    4. C.J. Reports, Dispute Regarding Navigational and Related Rights (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Judgment, 13 July 2009.
    5. C.J. Reports, Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay), Judgment of 20 April 2010.
    6. Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration, (Pakistan v. India), Final Award, 20 December 2013.
    7. Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration, (Pakistan v. India), Order on Interim Measures, 23 September 2011.
    8. Indus Waters Kishenganga Arbitration, (Pakistan v. India), Partial Award, 18 February 2013.
    9. ITLOS Reports, Request for an Advisory Opinion submitted by the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), Advisory Opinion, 2 April 2015.
    10. land reclamation case, (Malaysia v. Singapore), 1 September 2005.
    11. MOX Plant Case (Ireland v. United Kingdom), Order No. 6, 06 June 2008.
    12. South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People's Republic of China), Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, 29 October 2015.
    13. South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People's Republic of China), Award, 12 July 2016.
    14. Trail Smelter case, 16 April 1938, 11 March 1941, UN Doc, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, 2006.


    1. D) Other documents
    2. Treaty Between the United States and Great Britain Relating to Boundary Waters, and Questions Arising Between the United States and Canada, January 11, 1909.
    3. The charter of the United Nations, adopted: 26 June 1945, entry into force: 24 October 1945.
    4. Indus Waters Treaty, Karachi, 19 September 1960.
    5. UN Doc /A/CONF.48/14/Rev.1, 5-16 June 1972.
    6. UN Doc A/CONF. 151/26, 12 August 1992.
    7. UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/8/INF/7, 13 February 2003.
    8. UNEP/CBD/COP/DEC/VII/5, 13 April 2004.


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