Victims of Environmental Pollution in the Slipstream of Globalization
41 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2011
Date Written: July 1, 2010
In this contribution we set out to answer the question whether a transnational response to relieve the need of victims of transnational environmental pollution is required, and if so, what response would be in order. The first part of the question should be answered with a firm “yes.” It is clear from the Trafigura case that the victims and the people that try to represent them meet a range of obstacles when trying to hold both the polluters and government agencies which did not correctly apply existing law accountable for their (in)action(s). The case study shows that, entirely within itself, there exist plenty of legal rules designed to protect the environment in developing countries from shipments of waste from the developed parts of the world. The problem is all about the lack of enforcement and the lack of possibilities for the victims to access various countries’ judicial systems in order to get compensation for their loss. In our view, the current legal system, both nationally and internationally, is not well-equipped to handle cases of transnational pollution, especially when developing countries are involved. In this paper we show that within Europe, both EU law and the European Convention of Human Rights do offer some possibilities, but for African victims these are difficult, if not impossible, to effectuate.
Keywords: environmental justice, globalization, victimology, transnational liability
JEL Classification: K13, K14, K31, K32, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation