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International liability for environmental offenses

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Definition and general characteristics of the international legal protection of the environment

Lecture 15.

Subject: International legal protection of the environment.

The Plan:

Keywords: international legal environment, international environmental relations, international legal responsibility, the international natural objects.

1. Definition and general characteristics of the international legal protection of the environment

International environmental law is a set of international legal norms governing relations between its subjects to ensure the rational use of natural resources of the earth and the global environment from the harmful effects to the interests of present and future generations. The subject is an international environmental relations, t. E. The relations in the sphere of interaction of mankind with nature, through:

- Rulemaking;

- Mutual consultation;

- Environmental monitoring and exchange of ecologically meaningful information;

- Monitoring the state of nature;

- The application of measures of international responsibility for the violation of the norms and principles of international law;

- The subjects of international environmental relations are states, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as provided for in international legal standards for legal entities and individuals that affect the state of the environment in international spaces.

The object of international legal regulation of environmental protection and nature - all nature of the planet Earth and near-Earth space. Simultaneously, such protection shall be separate objects of the environment, including the oceans and their resources, air, flora and fauna, mineral resources, unique natural complexes. The system control objects of protection and use of such objects can distinguish several categories:

a) international natural sites and resources beyond national jurisdiction (high seas, Antarctica, the seabed beyond the continental shelf, outer space);

b) the natural features and resources shared by two or more States. These objects include the border rivers (Danube, Rhine) and lakes (including Lake Baikal, the Caspian Sea), populations of migratory species;

a) national natural features and resources.

International environmental law at the present stage - dynamically developing branch of modern international law and science.

The question of his sources, it is important to consider the historical aspect. In the absence of international treaties in the sphere of interstate relations were regulated by international customs. One of the recognized custom was based on the principle of not causing harm to the environment of the neighboring state. Given this principle, accepted the decisions of international courts.

At the present stage of the sources of international environmental law are divided into two types:

- Fixing the existing legal principles and norms and forming right in the true sense of the word ("solid", t. E. A mandatory right);

These include the following acts: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES (1973), the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar (white) Bears (1973), the Convention on the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution-tspya (1976), the Convention on protection of the World cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the Convention on long-range Trans boundary air Pollution on long-range (1979), the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985) and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), as well as a number of new conventions - Convention on the Trans boundary effects of Industrial Accidents (1992), the Convention on the Protection and use of Trans boundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992), Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Trans boundary Context (1992), the Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against pollution (Bucharest), the Convention to protect the marine waters of the Baltic Sea (1992), and others..

There are more than thousands of treaties, conventions, agreements, directly regulates the relations between nature management and environmental protection. Along with them, signed by more than 3,000 bilateral international instruments in this field. A particular source of international environmental law are wearing binding decisions of some international organizations - the UN General Assembly of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Economic Community, and others.

Principles of international environmental law - divided into recognized and industry specific principles of international environmental law.

To this category belong principles:

- Respect for state sovereignty;

- The sovereign equality of all States;

- Mutual benefit;

- Non-interference in the internal affairs of another state;

- The conscientious fulfillment of international obligations;

- Peaceful settlement of disputes, and some others.

The materials of the UN Conference on environment in 1972 and 1992. Was determined ecological and legal status of the person, the place of the environment as an integral part of sustainable development, and others.

2. International liability for environmental offenses

Under international liability for environmental offenses meant offensive to the subject of international environmental law, they violated the stipulated requirements, adverse effects.

The reason is the application of the international responsibility of an environmental offense, which is manifested mainly in default or subject of international environmental law, its international obligations or environmental damage by oil pollution at sea, trans boundary pollution of a neighboring state, and so on. N.

In compliance with international environmental law international environmental crime may, in particular, be the result of a serious breach of an international obligation of essential importance for the protection of the environment, such as those prohibiting massive pollution of the atmosphere or of the seas. Any international legal act which is not an international delicate or ordinary offense. In international law, there are two types of state responsibility: the tangible and intangible (political).

Financial liability is applied by means of reparation, t. E. The material, mainly monetary damages, or Hospitality, t. E. The restoration of disturbed state of the environment. International practice shows that the harm to the environment usually involves compensation only direct damage.

Goodwill (political) responsibility applied in different forms: satisfaction (for example, an apology, punishment of perpetrators by the state), the use of economic and other sanctions, including the use of armed force.

Brussels Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1969) established the strict liability of the ship owner for oil pollution damage caused in the territorial waters of the coastal State to vessels belonging to the Signatories, which are used for commercial purposes. The owner of the vessel is responsible for any damage caused to the sea, which resulted from the escape or discharge of oil.

The Brussels Convention liability limit is set equal to 210 million. Conditional gold francs (2 thousand. Francs for 1 register ton tonnage). The owner of the vessel may be exempted from liability if he proves that the damage:

- Was the result of hostilities, hostile action or natural phenomena;

- Was wholly caused by an act or omission of a third party with intent to cause damage;

- Was wholly caused by the negligence or other wrongful act of any Government or other authority responsible for the maintenance of lights or other navigational aids.

Geneva Convention on Civil Liability for Damage Caused during Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Inland Navigation Vessels (1989) found that for the damage caused by any dangerous goods during its transportation, since the incident, the carrier is responsible. As under the Brussels Convention, the carrier is relieved from liability if he proves that the damage resulted from hostilities, hostile action or natural phenomena; caused by the action of a third party with intent to cause damage.

A special example of laying the international responsibility for the harm caused to the natural environment is the responsibility of applied due to hostilities.

Despite the scope of the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification (1977) during the Gulf War was carried out deliberate large-scale destruction of the environment for military purposes. Just a few days after the start of the war actions of Iraqi troops spilled 6-8 mln. Barrels of Kuwaiti oil into the Gulf waters. During 4 days of bombing Iraq blew up most of the oil wells of Kuwait in 1250, which resulted in a fire at nearly 600 oil and hole were flooded vast areas of the country's oil. The UN Security Council resolution number 687 of April 3, 1991. confirmed the responsibility of Iraq to foreign states, individuals and legal entities for damage to the environment, and for the destruction of natural resources as a result of the invasion of Kuwait. In accordance with this resolution, the fund was established, the funds which have come from Iraq, amounting to about a quarter of its annual revenues from oil production. These funds are intended to cover the damage, which reached an estimated 50 billion. Dollars.

International Environmental Court

In the practice of the international community environmental disputes arise that require resolution by international bodies. To this end, in July 1993 as part of the International Court of Justice (The Hague) established the "camera on environmental issues."

At the initiative of a group of lawyers at the founding conference, held in Mexico City in November 1994, was established by the International Court of Environmental Arbitration and Conciliation (International Environmental Court). He is a non-governmental organization. The first panel of judges includes 29 environmental lawyers from 24 countries.


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