Sharing Responsibility in International Environmental Law:  Fundamental Contradictions

Andre Nollkaemper, 26 April 2017

Download the Flyer for Andre Nollkaemper's Guestlecture. The video recording of Prof. Nollkaemper's guest lecture is available on the SCELG YouTube channel

It has become commonplace to say that the responsibility to protect the environment is shared between multiple actors, rather than  resting on one actor alone.  Much of modern international environmental law indeed is based on this premise. However, the idea that  responsibility should be shared hides fundamental complexities and contradictions.  The lecture will explore one of such contradictions. On the one hand, shared responsibility stands for the  idea that all those who contribute to  environmental  degradation, exhaustion of natural resources, and so on, should be part of the solution.  This proposition may express a sense of fairness and effectiveness. On the other hand,  shared responsibility tends to lead to arrangements in which responsibility is  divided over so many actors, that the responsibility of each  individual actor is diluted. Sharing responsibility then may lead to ‘blame games and buck-passing’. The lecture explores how the contradiction has manifested itself in international environmental law and what  ways have been  found to resolve it.

Key Note Speaker

  • Professor Andre Nollkaemper
Dean and Professor of Public International Law, Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam.


  • Prof Ellen Hey, Professor of Public International Law, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof Elisa Morgera, Professor of Global Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School
  • Dr Francesco Sindico. Reader in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School

Date and Venue

  • Wednesday, 26 April 15.00-18.00
  • Collins Suite, Collins Building, University of Strathclyde