Centre for Law and Environment


Professor Macrory co-publishes paper on Brexit and International Environmental Law

19 March 2018


Early in 2018 the Canadian Centre for International Governance Innovation and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law published Brexit and International Environmental Law by Professor Richard Macrory and Joe Newbigin. 

The paper, part of a series dealing with international law implications of Brexit, notes that the UK has ratified over 40 international environmental treaties and conventions.  The UK Government has consistently said that it would continue to be bound by its international environmental commitments, but the paper argues that post-Brexit the legal position is somewhat complex.

Some environmental treaties have been ratified solely by the EU on the basis of its exclusive competence in the area, and will fall unless the UK consciously makes a decision to ratify.  The vast majority, however, are so-called mixed agreements where both the UK and Member States ratify because the subject matter of the treaty concerned straddles existing competences.  Lawyers are not agreed as to whether the UK will automatically be bound by the full agreement post Brexit.

Brexit and International Environmental Law