Justice, equity and benefit-sharing under the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article attempts to bridge the multi-disciplinary debate on environmental justice and the traditional international legal debate on equity with a view to analysing the legal concept of benefit-sharing in international law. To that end, the article uses the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity as a testing ground for: (i) unpacking different notions of justice that may be pursued through fair and equitable benefit-sharing from access to genetic resources and the use of associated traditional knowledge; and (ii) relating different notions of justice to the different functions that equity plays in international law. The aim is to test the potential wider application of linking a pluralist notion of environmental justice to different functions of equity in other areas of international law that refer to benefit-sharing. It is argued that this helps systematically unveil implicit legal design choices in relation to the pursuit of justice through international lawmaking, and interpret international legal instruments in ways that can contribute to negotiate concrete understandings of justice on a case-by-case basis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-141
Number of pages29
JournalItalian Yearbook of International Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • indigenous people
  • mutual supportivness
  • biodiversity
  • benefit-sharing
  • justice
  • Nagoya Protocol
  • equity

Cite this