Call for Papers: ECPR General Conference 2021

07. 1. 2021

Dear EISA members,

At next year’s ECPR General Conference (31 August – 3 September, 2021), we will organize a panel on “Environmental litigation and compliance beyond the nation state” as part of the Section “Judicial action, independence and integrity entering a new decade.” Here is the panel’s abstract:

Compliance with judicial and quasi-judicial decisions takes place against the background of various structural, procedural, and contextual conditions at different levels of governance. Internationally, the enduring pre-eminence of state sovereignty and the difficulty of effectively sanctioning infringements of applicable international law make compliance with the latter an often challenging undertaking. This situation is particularly pronounced in the area of international environmental law. Strengthening the role of courts and tribunals in resolving environmental disputes peacefully regarding issues that range from climate change and air pollution to the protection of marine habitats and wildlife diversity is thus a major societal challenge, one that is made more difficult by repeated attacks on multilateral forms of cooperation from autocratic and populist governments around the world. Rather than purely technical-scientific issues, dealing with environmental challenges has become a subject of high politics. While environmental courts and tribunals (ECTs) have proliferated at the national and regional levels, no global specialized ECTs exist; instead, environmental issues are being litigated in courts of general jurisdiction such as the ICJ, in trade and human rights fora, or by arbitral tribunals set up for specific disputes. The panel will examine the efficacy of judicial and quasi-judicial dispute resolution of environmental disputes beyond the state by investigating the record of compliance with related decisions and exploring the causal factors responsible for success and failure. The panel is open to papers that address the topic from conceptual, empirical and normative vantage points.

We invite everyone working on environmental litigation and issues of compliance to submit a paper proposal; the proposal should include an abstract of up to 500 words and your full contact details, and should be sent to and by January 30, 2021.