28 January 2003
Globalisation and sustainable development
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Rapporteur: Mr Erik Jurgens, Netherlands, Socialist Group
I. Conclusions of the Committee
1. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights fully supports the report and the draft resolution presented by the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs.
2. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights wishes in particular to congratulate the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs on the depth and thoroughness of its analysis of the political and legal issues involved.
II. Amendments proposed by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to the draft resolution
In paragraph 17, between the third and the final sentences, insert the following sentence:
“Codification of these agreements would promote the formulation of basic rules of sustainable development and would make these rules more accessible both to understanding and to adoption and effective implementation.”
In paragraph 17, at the end of the final sentence, insert the following phrase:
“, along with the future endowment of such an institution with responsibility for preparing the codification of existing multilateral instruments, so as to promote the formulation of basic rules of sustainable development and to make them more accessible”.
In paragraph 20, in sub-paragraph e., before “particularly by setting up”, replace the existing phrase with the following:
“ensure that in both policy and legislation, the dominance of commercial law over environmental law is replaced with an equivalence,”
In paragraph 20, insert the following new sub-paragraph before existing sub-paragraph f.:
“initiate, support and co-operate, particularly in coordination through the Committee of Ministers, on steps towards the codification of existing international legal instruments so as to create an accessible text containing basic rules which can be universally applied;”
III. Explanatory memorandum
by Mr Erik Jurgens, Rapporteur
1. The draft resolution is entirely correct in critically observing that the plethora of international legal instruments on this issue is a source of confusion and multiplication of effort, whose result is bound to be a diminution in the effectiveness of work in this field. Accordingly, your Rapporteur advocates amending the text of the draft resolution to suggest codification of such texts, so as to promote the formulation of basic rules of sustainable development and to make these rules more accessible both to adoption and to effective implementation. This would occur by facilitating both understanding of and adherence to basic common standards which, whilst they may already exist, are located in a multitude of disparate texts.
2. So as to promote both the work of codification of relevant texts and the adherence of states to the standards to be found therein, the establishment of an appropriately empowered and resourced institution is an important additional measure.
3. Whilst the concern behind the draft recommendation’s reference to the ‘subjugation’ of environmental law to commercial law is understandable, in legal terms it is inaccurately expressed: one area of law cannot be ‘subject to’ another, unless we are speaking of the precedence of constitutional texts or international treaties over other law. As a matter of policy and legislation, however, it may be correct that commercial concerns are given preference to environmental matters, and in that respect it is right that steps be taken to redress that balance.
4. This final amendment introduces the consequences of amendments A and B into the operative part of the draft resolution.
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Reporting committee: Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs
Committee for opinion: Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Reference to committee: Doc 9085, Reference No 2611 of 22 May 2001 and Doc 9087, Reference No 2612 of 22 May 2001
Opinion approved by the committee on 28 January 2003
Secretaries to the committee: Ms Coin, Ms Kleinsorge, Mr Ćupina, Mr Milner
1 See Doc 9660 tabled by the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs.