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Rebus sic stantibus as a Stabilizing Doctrine in the Climate Crisis

Rebus sic stantibus as a Stabilizing Doctrine in the Climate Crisis AbstractIn the face of massive, unanticipated and even disjunctive changes, the balance of the respective interests of the state parties to existing treaties may no longer survive the changed—or changing—climate landscape. While, ideally, the co-contracting states to such treaties could mutually agree to terminate or revise their treaty obligations to accommodate such changes and redress the now imbalance of interests in the treaty, some scenarios are bound to be contentious. In such cases, is there any other procedure that can provide for an orderly and fair adjustment of treaties so as to avert a breakdown of the network of treaties and a destabilization of world order? This article proposes that the rebus sic stantibus doctrine may function as a stabilizing doctrine for maintaining and possibly adjusting treaty regimes in an orderly fashion. Unlike the doctrine of necessity or many explicit treaty carve-outs, such as the security exception of the US Model Bilateral Investment Treaty, the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus may allow for both an objective test and also one that must be pleaded before a third-party arbiter. For this reason, rebus operates within controlled limits. Rebus offers an international tribunal the opportunity to set out a fair termination or revision of a climate-impacted treaty. I trace the evolution of rebus as a stabilizing doctrine and illustrate the potentialities of its application to the climate crisis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climate Law Brill

Rebus sic stantibus as a Stabilizing Doctrine in the Climate Crisis

Climate Law , Volume 11 (3-4): 34 – Nov 16, 2021

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1878-6553
eISSN
1878-6561
DOI
10.1163/18786561-11030001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractIn the face of massive, unanticipated and even disjunctive changes, the balance of the respective interests of the state parties to existing treaties may no longer survive the changed—or changing—climate landscape. While, ideally, the co-contracting states to such treaties could mutually agree to terminate or revise their treaty obligations to accommodate such changes and redress the now imbalance of interests in the treaty, some scenarios are bound to be contentious. In such cases, is there any other procedure that can provide for an orderly and fair adjustment of treaties so as to avert a breakdown of the network of treaties and a destabilization of world order? This article proposes that the rebus sic stantibus doctrine may function as a stabilizing doctrine for maintaining and possibly adjusting treaty regimes in an orderly fashion. Unlike the doctrine of necessity or many explicit treaty carve-outs, such as the security exception of the US Model Bilateral Investment Treaty, the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus may allow for both an objective test and also one that must be pleaded before a third-party arbiter. For this reason, rebus operates within controlled limits. Rebus offers an international tribunal the opportunity to set out a fair termination or revision of a climate-impacted treaty. I trace the evolution of rebus as a stabilizing doctrine and illustrate the potentialities of its application to the climate crisis.

Journal

Climate LawBrill

Published: Nov 16, 2021

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