Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay: The International Court of Justice Recognizes Environmental Impact Assessment as a Duty under International Law
American Society of International Law Insight, Vol. 14, No. 9, April 22, 2010
11 Pages Posted: 18 May 2010
Date Written: April 22, 2010
On April 20, 2010, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced its judgment in a high-stakes environmental dispute between Argentina and Uruguay, concerning Uruguay’s authorization for pulp mills on the banks of the Uruguay River, which forms the international boundary between the two countries. This judgment is a significant step forward in the ICJ’s jurisprudence on environmental law and on shared watercourses. The Court recognized environmental impact assessment as a practice that has become an obligation of general international law in these situations. This Insight highlights some points of particular interest in the judgment of the Court and discusses the multiple advocacy strategies used by both parties.
Keywords: water, ICJ, dispute settlement, international environmental law, environmental assessment
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By Felix David