CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

SILVANO DENEGA SOUZA CYIL 11 (2020) what is precisely the emergence of agreements containing more vague concepts and principles, with lesser legal implications for those breaching them, what serves, in general, to favour states that don’t want to assume greater commitment before the international community (eminently on economic grounds). Beyerlin’s theoretical exercise and his categorization of strong and weak norms still intends to justify greater or lesser normative force. Obviously, the author considers some of the already settled principles of international environmental law (e.g. those emanating from, or reaffirmed at, Rio 92 – precautionary approach, polluter pays, common but differentiated responsibilities), 67 as ‘almost uniform’, ‘merely aiming at environmental policies’ and he employs other adjectives to indicate the lack of evidence in international law that those are actually considered principles. This normative deconstruction is but a trap in which those encouraging international environmental law cannot fall into. Currently, there seems to be more power supported in a definite legal, self-contained system. Environmental norm’s classification as part of policies instead of rules (principles and rules), seems to be outmoded. A policy , for example, is non-enforceable – or even opposable –, whereas some principles of international environmental law are. It is precisely in this context that custom blooms. It is by international custom that the principles of international environmental law are strengthened, gain importance and resistance, in a way that they can partake more and more in the various international legal systems and, consequently, in the internal level. One of the initial purposes of the study was to justly instigate the perception of the norm, a broader perception of the current framework, perception to identify its place in time and space and then indicate its nature. An invitation to the kaleidoscopic world, therefore. ‘However, international law (or international lawyers) have been slow to realize the implications of these changes. While a “kaleidoscopic” world may be emerging, international lawyers still see the world through myopic “rose-coloured glasses.”’ 68 5. Conclusion During this brief study I have considered the aspects of the fragmentation of international law and the existence of a self-contained environmental law. After that, comments were made with regards to the presence and effectiveness of custom as a long-standing source of international law. On fragmentation, I consider this might just be an answer to a plural world, a completely natural phenomenon and that it will have other structural unfolding every time the international community demands so. Fragmentation is a means, not an end in itself, given the specialization of norms and the coming up of new areas that will naturally specialize and invigorate general international law. International law, fragmented into international environmental law, is reflexive of the international yearning related to environmental concerns. The system is characterized by the

67 SANDS, Philippe and GALIZZI, Paolo (eds.), Documents in international environmental law (Cambridge University Press 2004) 17-23. 68 Leary and Pisupati (n 34) 10.


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