Why the Pirate Flag is the Only One Worth Flying Direct-Action and the Enforcement of International Marine Wildlife Conservation Laws
Levy, Sarah Eden
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The subject of international law is fraught with debate over its legitimacy and efficacy. If laws without enforcement are merely good advice, then how can the environment be meaningfully protected by international legal institutions? This thesis examines this issue in relation to the role the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) plays as a non-governmental organisation enforcing international marine wildlife conservation laws. In order to do so, this thesis discusses the evolution of international conservation law, through which the failures on the part of nation-states and legal institutions to comply with and enforce them are explored. While nation-states have not proved themselves to be viable environmental actors, this discussion will show that the SSCS has effectively enforced conservation laws in several contexts, through both direct-action and cooperative approaches. This discussion thereby serves to demonstrate that the actions of the SSCS ensure the protection of marine wildlife, and in doing so, strengthen and confer legitimacy to international law.