SNF Projects

International Law and Marine Plastic Pollution: Coherence in the legal regime of marine plastic pollution mitigation from land-based sources


Judith Wehrli, MLaw

Large-scale plastic accumulation in the oceans is a relatively new phenomenon with tremendous impacts on marine species and the marine environment, but also on society, economy and human health. This project aims at analysing the highly relevant topic from a legal point of view and comprises an in-depth analysis of different factual and legal aspects of marine plastic pollution, including sources and impacts of marine plastic debris and the role of different players such as states, international institutions and the private sector. The project investigates the potentials of public international and regional law to address the problem and prevent further pollution. In order to picture the legal aspects of the relatively new phenomenon in a comprehensive way, the project takes into account all relevant fields of law, including the law of the sea, international environmental law and trade law. It aims at suggesting a coherent regulatory framework as well as a set of practicable, efficient and effective options and concrete legal strategies to reduce land-based sources of marine pollution. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the project runs for three years from January 2014.