State Responsibility for Human-Induced Environmental Disasters
55 German Yearbook of International Law 175 (2012)
38 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2013
Date Written: December 24, 2012
The transboundary nature of our most pressing environmental problems, like climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity underscore the international dimensions of environmental problems. It also highlights a serious gap in international law – the current inability of international law to reach private conduct causing environmental harm. This article suggests that State responsibility might be a critical component of international environmental governance. In particular, it articulates a vision of State responsibility that encompasses the failure to regulate private conduct within a State’s borders. Such an interpretation of State responsibility can help break us out of dilemmas created by an outdated vision of sovereignty. If so, State responsibility may offer some exciting new possibilities for resolving thorny environmental puzzles.
Keywords: Sovereignty, State Responsibility, Sustainability, Disaster, Internationally-Wrongful Acts, Environment, Fukushima, Deepwater Horizon, Trail Smelter
JEL Classification: K19, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation