Sept. 18, 2019 by David Hunter

The World Bank Considers Stepping Back from Accountability

For nearly two years, the World Bank Board of Directors has fumbled what should be an easy decision to modernize its Inspection Panel, the primary institution that addresses the damage the Bank's lending can do to local communities. At issue is whether the Panel should be able to monitor the Bank's implementation of Management Action Plans developed and approved in light of Panel investigations. What to all outside observers would seem like an inherent part of closing any complaint – to ensure promised commitments were fulfilled – has been opposed by certain borrowers and Bank staff who believe they should not be held accountable for impacts on local communities in the first place.

Like other development financial institutions (DFIs), the World Bank's focus on large-scale projects leaves local communities bearing a disproportionate level of environmental and social risk. Too often, that risk turns into actual harm – harm that those who don't suffer it have persuaded themselves is absolutely necessary for the broader good. With the  goal of reducing this risk, 25 years ago, the Bank had the foresight and imagination to create the Inspection Panel, an experiment in giving a voice to those communities asked to bear the greatest burden for the …

Nov. 13, 2018 by Robin Kundis Craig

This post is part of a series of essays from the Environmental Law Collaborative on the theme "Environmental Law. Disrupted." It was originally published on Environmental Law Prof Blog.

How much do presidents really matter to the United States' participation in international environmental law?

Fairly obviously, presidential turnovers in the United States are absolutely critical to how the United States conducts its international relations. President George W. Bush's pursuit of Middle Eastern terrorists in the wake of 9/11, including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, represents a far different engagement with the rest of the world regarding international terrorism than President Obama's reliance on drones and attempts to bring American troops back home. In turn, President Obama's engagement with the rest of the world on climate change, including committing the United States to the Paris Accord, represents a radically different path than the one President Trump …

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More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Sept. 18, 2019

The World Bank Considers Stepping Back from Accountability

Nov. 13, 2018

Does the President Really Matter to U.S. Participation in International Law? A View from the Perspective of Oceans Law