The national resource privilege, which holds that states are allowed to control all the natural resources found in their territory, is a cornerstone of international politics. Supporters of the national resource privilege claim that without the privilege states would fail to be sovereign and self-determining entities which provide for the needs of their citizens. However, as this paper shows the case is not as simple as that. In fact, control over resources must be carefully unpacked. Doing so shows that states do not require full control over all resources found in their territory in order to be sovereign. Moreover, sovereignty and self-determination come with a set of responsibilities and duties attached. Based on these observations the paper will sketch the contours of an alternative resource governance scheme built around the idea of an International Court of the Environment.