Cymie R. Payne

Rutgers University

55 Dudley Rd
New Brunswick, NJ
08901 |  Visit Personal Website

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Transnational environmental law and policy. Ongoing research projects include: environmental disputes in international courts and tribunals (Assessing International Commissions and Tribunals: Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Remedies); ocean biodiversity: deep seabed mining, oil spills and climate change; environmental governance in the context of war and disaster (Jus Post Bellum and the Norm of Environmental Integrity, International Humanitarian Law). Former member of the editorial board of Insights (American Society of International Law); elected member of the Commission on Environmental Law, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Payne, Cymie R. 2015. "Collective Responsibility for Sound Resource Management: Erga Omnes Obligations and Deep Seabed Mining" in Environmental Rule of Law: Trends from the Americas. OAS [Also published in Spanish as La responsabilidad colectiva para la gestión adecuada de los recursos marinos in Estado de derecho en materia ambiental: Tendencias en las Américas (OAS 2015).]
Payne, Cymie R. Forthcoming 2017. "Defining the ‘Environment’ and the Principle of Environmental Integrity." C. Stahn, J. Iverson, & J. Easterday, eds. Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles and Practices. Oxford University Press.
Abstract: Defining what we mean by “the environment” as an object of protection in the post-conflict period (for example in reparations proceedings) is a necessary starting point for a discussion of what the law is and how it should develop. There is no commonly agreed definition of “environment” in international law, or in the sub-field of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). The International Court of Justice gave this eloquent, but non-binding, description of environment in its Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion: “the environment is not an abstraction but represents the living space, the quality of life and the very health of human beings, including generations unborn.” A new interpretive approach that evaluates damage to the environment in terms of “environmental integrity” rather than in the narrow terms considered sufficient in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries offers the possibility of revitalizing the Law of Armed Conflict. This paper considers how the principle of “environmental integrity”, which expresses a complex set of concepts that describe a healthy natural system that can support essential processes, might do that.
Payne, Cymie R., The Norm of Environmental Integrity in Post-Conflict Legal Regimes. 2014. Carsten Stahn, Jennifer S. Easterday, and Jens Iverson, eds. Jus post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations. Oxford University Press.
Abstract: Discussion of post-conflict legal regimes — jus post bellum — increasingly includes measures for the protection and rehabilitation of the environment as well as international humanitarian law, human rights, and international criminal law. This chapter asks whether an environmental integrity norm may provide support for a theory of jus post bellum, and how jus post bellum theory advances environmental integrity. It concludes that the investigation of these two questions is itself a useful framing tool to understand, and perhaps to improve, the layers of normative expectations, law and practice that guide belligerents and civilians in their interactions with the environment during armed conflict. Jus post bellum theories that prioritize peacebuilding over retribution appear to accord best with environmental integrity, in terms of explanatory power and consonance with goals. The practices of legal bodies and armed forces described here show how this approach has led to implementation of environmental protection and restoration, not mere words deploring environmental destruction.
Defining the ‘Environment’ and the Principle of Environmental Integrity. Forthcoming 2017. C. Stahn, J. Iverson, & J. Easterday, eds. Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles and Practices. Oxford University Press.
Abstract: The UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) is a unique model for liability and compensation of environmental damage in an international context, influencing both jus in bello and jus post bellum. The 1990-1991 Gulf War to evict Iraq from Kuwait was a public spectacle of environmental damage. It was followed by the UNCC’s more discreet legal process that catalogued, assessed and awarded money to pay to clean and repair the damaged soil, water, coastal ecosystems, and other harms. The UNCC’s contributions include integration of environmental law principles into the reparations process; use of advanced techniques for assessment of environmental damage; and use of a multilateral process in a way that balanced confidentiality and transparency.
Payne, Cymie R. Forthcoming 2017. "Protection of the Natural Environment." Ben Saul, Dapo Akande, eds. Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law. Oxford University Press.
Abstract: International Humanitarian Law (IHL) establishes limitations on warfare to protect the natural environment from extremely serious damage and to prevent unnecessary or wanton harm. IHL protection of the environment developed from the principle of protection of civilians, and it has similar motives and goals. This chapter describes a legal regime that is undergoing development.
Cymie R. Payne. 2011. “Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Arg. v. Uru.).” 105 American Journal of International Law 94.
Donald Anton, Makgill, R. and Payne, Cymie R. 2011. “State Responsibility and Liability for Deep Seabed Mining in International Waters.” Environmental Policy and Law 41(2):60-65.
Payne, Cymie R., and Peter H. Sand, eds. 2011. Gulf War reparations and the UN Compensation Commission: Environmental Liability. Oxford University Press.
Abstract: Experts who held leadership positions with the UNCC draw on their experiences to provide a comprehensive view of its work in the aftermath of the 1990-91 Gulf War. The work and experience of the UNCC and its environmental panel serve as a valuable reference guide in the fields of contemporary international law and international dispute settlement and have become a model for other tribunals faced with claims of liability for environmental harm.

Substantive Focus:
Law and Policy PRIMARY
Environmental Policy SECONDARY
Defense and Security
International Relations
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY