Transnational Operator Liability
ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY IN THE EU, Chapter 7, Gerrit Betlem, Edward Brans, eds., pp. 149-188, London: Cameron, May 2006
40 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2009
Date Written: January 1, 2006
This paper analyses in detail the concept of “operator” and its impact on both substantive liability law and private international law, i.e. the jurisdiction of the civil courts in transnational disputes. “Operator” is construed by drawing analogies with other EU environmental law, US environmental law and EC competition law. In terms of what the operators are liable for, a distinction is made between two scenarios: measures taken by the operator and measures taken by public authorities. Only in the latter context, the defences of third party action and compliance with a compulsory order apply, it is suggested. But even where these defences apply, they provide no shield against liability but only require Member States to enable operators to seek contribution or indemnity. The paper notes that despite the predominantly public law nature of the Directive, civil liability remains relevant; for instance, in the context of the cited contribution actions by operators. Indeed, in my view Community law even requires it to be deployed in cross-border situations.
Keywords: environmental liability, European Union Directive, cross-border pollution
JEL Classification: K13, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By John H. Knox