Experts, Networks and International Law

    UAlberta Law’s Joanna Harrington and Cameron Jefferies part of an international team publishing a new book with Cambridge University Press.

    By Law Communications on March 2, 2017

    UAlberta Law is pleased to announce the publication by Cambridge University Press of Experts, Networks and International Law, an edited collection brought together by the efforts of Professor Joanna Harrington, working with Australian professors Holly Cullen and Catherine Renshaw, featuring contributions by scholars in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States, including a contribution by Assistant Professor Cameron Jefferies.

    Experts, Networks and International Law focuses on the influence of experts and transnational networks of policymakers and officials in regulatory agencies, examining their impact and role in determining the priorities and content of international law. The collection shows how experts and networks function in different ways to address diverse problems across multiple borders. Through a range of case studies, the book provides the reader with a broader and deeper practical understanding of how informal authorities operate within the cross-border context, and of the nature of the relationship between different actors involved in policymaking. Issues of accountability and legitimacy are also discussed.

    Among the case studies chosen by way of a blind peer review process is a chapter by UAlberta Law’s Cameron Jefferies, which focuses on the role for science, and scientific expertise, within international environmental decision-making, using the international legal regimes for the management and conservation of whales as a timely focal point. Building on the example of the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee, Jefferies’ chapter explores the benefits to be achieved by re-institutionalizing the role of scientific experts in a successor regime to that established by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. To this end, he argues that articles 65 and 120 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea could be used to support the creation of a new cetacean management regime with an improved role for scientific expertise. His chapter also considers the need to address matters of accountability, recognizing that scientific experts, as with other experts, can be co-opted.

    A launch event for the book will be part of the upcoming annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law in Canberra in June.