Private Remedies for Transfrontier Environmental Disturbances

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Where environmental disturbances extend across national boundaries, very difficult legal and administrative problems can result, creating further obstacles to the management of what may already be a complicated technical and legal situation. Gaining a legal remedy for environmental harm is a problematic effort even within most national jurisdications, since pollution cases by their nature raise difficult questions of standing, causation, and so on. When two or more different legal systems are involved, the complexities multiply and injustice may result.

This important problem area is the subject of the present work. Part I is a study closely related to what is traditionally called "Conflicts of Laws", in the special actual context of transfrontier pollution cases. This study seeks to determine what sort of recourse, under what law, is available in the event of various kinds and configurations of transfrontier disturbance. Part II reviews existing international instruments relevant to transnational environmental disturbances, and suggests provisions which might be included in an international agreement on this subject.

These are not purely academic questions but are under active discussion at the international level. Significant initiatives have been taken even during the final stages of preparation of this study.

It is hoped that the present study, which is the outcome of research undertaken by the author as a project carried out under the auspices of IUCN at its Environmental Law Centre, Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany, will make a positive contribution to international discussions in rogress and may lead to further initiatives, particularly with a view to protecting individual rights to obtain adequate remedies in cases of transnational environmental disturbances.

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International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources



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