Law is a necessary part of the solution to sustainability challenges. It is not the whole solution – that encompasses a complex system of social, economic and political processes and relationships – but it is an essential component. To achieve sustainability goals, appropriate and well-implemented legal frameworks and tools must be in place. And, importantly, they must be effective. It is not enough that laws are enacted, or even that they are fully implemented – they must work. And to ensure that laws work, we must first understand what makes law effective. What factors contribute to its design, implementation, outcome and ultimate impact? And what can we do to improve it?
This publication represents a valuable initial effort to take on these questions, through empirical assessment and analysis. The framework it presents is a versatile tool for researchers to structure their study of the effectiveness of law for sustainability. The case studies demonstrate use of the framework, and also provide important insights and information about the effectiveness of environmental law in particular countries and contexts.
This volume represents a cooperative effort of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, the World Commission on Environmental Law, and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, working within the framework of the IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework initiative, led by the Commission on Environmental Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).