Twenty years ago the international community came together to sign an agreement designed to regulate the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal. The objective of this thesis is to analyse what the initial motives behind this are and how the Basel convention has progressed in its first twenty years. In particular the paper looks to analyse key international hazardous waste incidents and the resulting regulation upon which the Basel convention would be based. A chronological evolution of the convention by mapping the conferences of the parties shows how a series of key issues have grown or receded over the last twenty years. In the final chapter successes and failures of the convention are analyzed in light of the changing global political, economic and technological terrain. It was found that the convention is not able to progress as a result of the controversial decisions made during the first five conferences of the parties. The conclusion shows that the Basel convention has not fulfilled its implicit goal of greater international environmental justice the thesis.