Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The ‘treaty bodies’ established by many multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) represent a new form of international cooperation. These bodies, and, in particular, their ‘conferences of the parties’ (COPs), are not merely intergovernmental conferences since they are established by treaties as permanent organs and have subsidiary bodies and a secretariat. More recently, COPs have become the preferred institutional machinery for cooperation under MEAs. They have been established, for example, by global treaties addressing climate change, ozone depletion, and biodiversity as well as by regional agreements addressing acid rain in Europe and hazardous wastes in Africa. This article briefly describes COPs, their subsidiary bodies, and their secretariats. It then discusses their decision-making powers as well as their international legal personality and their implied powers. Finally, the article reflects on the applicability of treaty law and international institutional law to the activities of the COPs, the extent to which the treaty bodies in the form of COPs are unique features in international law, and whether the COPs serve their intended functions.

Keywords: treaty bodies, multilateral environmental agreements, conferences, international cooperation, decision-making powers, legal personality, institutional law, international law

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.