Chicago Journal of International Law

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Sand sustains the foundations of modern economies, but almost nothing exists in the way of global sand regulation and governance. Despite the documented risks posed by rampant, unregulated extraction, a global governance regime is unlikely to emerge any time soon. This Comment argues that possible governance solutions will need to come from what we currently have in the legal toolbox. In other words, existing frameworks, principles, and lessons from case law must be drawn upon and refitted to tackle some of the most salient issues caused by sand mining. This Comment aims to illustrate that even a highly fractured legal landscape can still offer invaluable guidance moving forward. To that end, this Comment also explores the first possible steps toward a global governance framework. Specifically, countries should take advantage of lowhanging fruit—easy opportunities to integrate sand into existing frameworks and concepts—in order to patch critical regulatory gaps and establish a foundation for future cooperative efforts.

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