Autonomous institutional arrangements in multilateral environmental agreements: a little-noticed phenomenon in international law

Robin R. Churchill, Geir Ulfstein

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    Numerous multilateral environmental agreements have been concluded since 1970. Many establish a new kind of institutional arrangement that includes a conference of the parties, subsidiary bodies, and a secretariat. This article explores the often-innovative powers of these bodies to develop the normative content of their agreements, monitor parties' compliance with the agreements, and act on the external plane. It also analyzes the legal character of these bodies, shows how they differ from traditional intergovernmental organizations, and demonstrates that they have developed new methods for international governance within legal regimes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)623-659
    Number of pages37
    JournalAmerican Journal of International Law
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000



    • International environmental law
    • Multilateral agreements

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