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International environmental law covers a wide range of subjects, is extremely detailed, and evolves very rapidly. No wonder it is challenging for practitioners to keep up with developments. An expert in marine pollution regimes may be unaware of the latest initiatives on forest conservation. Given how hyper-specialized the climate world has become, an expert on mitigation may be only mildly aware of recent advances in adaptation. And neither may be in a position to keep up with innovations in international law more broadly.

Deep knowledge has its advantages, but also some drawbacks. When we are faced with the need to address a new or emerging issue, our set of tools may be limited by our narrow specialties; we reach for solutions that are familiar but not necessarily the most effective. Moreover, when we do come up with an interesting solution to address a specific problem, it tends to remain hidden from those dealing with other problems – even if it might be useful to them.


Environmental Law | Law