Transboundary Damage in International Law

By Xue Hanqin | Go to book overview

1 Introduction

That large-scale industrial, agricultural, and technical activities conducted in the territory of one country can cause detrimental effects in the territory of another country or to areas of the global commons is by no means a novel problem in international law. Such transboundary damage has given rise to numerous theories of State responsibility or liability, focusing on remedial rules. But for a long time State practice in this field remained inconsistent and fragmentary. During the past two decades, however, the scope and content of the subject have dramatically expanded, exerting a direct impact on the codification and progressive development of international law in three important fields: (1) the regime of State responsibility; (2) international liability for injurious consequences arising from acts not prohibited by international law; and (3) international environmental law. State responsibility and international liability for injurious consequences have been two of the major issues on the agenda of the International Law Commission (ILC).

In current parlance, transboundary damage is also often referred to as environmental damage, but of a specific type, namely, environmental damage caused by or originating in one State, and affecting the territory of another. There is a vast body of international treaties on various forms of transboundary damage – pollution of international waters, long-range air pollution, land-source damage to the ocean and oil pollution, to give only a few examples. While some of the treaties directly lay down rules on liability and compensation, most contain only general provisions dealing with State responsibility and liability, leaving issues of detailed implementation aside for future action.

Amidst the worldwide demand for increased environmental protection, international jurists, academic and practicing, have again raised the topic of transboundary damage, urging more and stricter rules of

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Transboundary Damage in International Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • List of Treaties xvi
  • List of Cases xxvi
  • Abbreviations xxviii
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • Part I- Accidental Damage 17
  • 2- Liability for Accidental Damage 19
  • 3- Substantive Rules and Principles: Issues and Problems 73
  • Part II- Non-Accidental Damage 111
  • 4- Liability for Non-Accidental Damage 113
  • 5- The Doctrine of Due Diligence and Standards of Conduct 162
  • Part III- Damage to the Global Commons 189
  • 6- Liability for Damage to the Global Commons 191
  • 7- Legal Issues Relating to Damage to the Global Commons 236
  • Part IV- Underlying Principles 267
  • 8- The Nature and Basis of International Liability 269
  • 9- Conclusions 317
  • Bibliography 333
  • Index 356
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