Civil Liability and Compensation for Environmental Damage in the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea
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The provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the protection and preservation of the marine environment, as contained in Part XII of the Convention, are in the main addressed to States. The articles set out the obligations and rights of States, particularly with respect to legislative and other measures that States are permitted or required to take in areas within their jurisdiction to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from the various sources of pollution, as enumerated in paragraph 3 of article 194 of the Convention, namely, pollution from land-based sources, pollution from or through the atmosphere, pollution from dumping, pollution from vessels, pollution from installations and devices used in exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the sea-bed and subsoil, and pollution from other installations and devices operating in the marine environment. The Convention also spells out the nature and extent of the obligations of States to other States in this field, and it affirms that failure by a State to discharge its obligations may entail liability to other States who suffer damage as a result of the failure. As stated in article 235, paragraph 1, of the Convention, “States are responsible for the fulfillment of their international obligations concerning the protection and preservation of the marine environment. They shall be liable in accordance with international law“ Indeed, failure by a State to discharge its obligations in this field could lead to a claim that may be brought before one or other of the dispute settlement procedures specified in Part XV of the Convention. Article 297, paragraph 1(c), of the Convention states that a case may be brought against a State Party to the Convention (before one of the courts and tribunals specified in article 287) if it is alleged that the State has failed to comply with “international rules and standards for the protection and preservation of the marine environment”.
KeywordsMarine Environment State Responsibility National Court Civil Liability Fund Convention
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