Sharing Water from Transboundary Rivers: Limits on State Power

Federal Law Review, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 25 - 48

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2016-34

25 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2016

See all articles by Adam Webster

Adam Webster

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Date Written: September 6, 2016

Abstract

Disputes between States of Australia over the sharing of the waters of rivers that flow through or form the boundary between two or more States (‘transboundary rivers’) have frequently been framed in terms of the ‘rights’ of the States. This article seeks to reframe the resolution of these disputes in terms of limits on State legislative and executive power. After reframing the problem in this way, the article first examines the scope of State legislative and executive power and its extraterritorial effect with respect to the regulation of transboundary rivers. Secondly, the article considers inconsistencies between the laws and regulations of two States with respect to transboundary rivers. Finally, constitutional implications and limits on State power are examined, with particular focus on whether there may be scope for the extension of the Melbourne Corporation principle to assist in the resolution of some transboundary river disputes.

Keywords: Transboundary rivers, Rivers, Australia, State rights, State legislative power, State executive power

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K30, K32

Suggested Citation

Webster, Adam, Sharing Water from Transboundary Rivers: Limits on State Power (September 6, 2016). Federal Law Review, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 25 - 48; U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2016-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2835262

Adam Webster (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

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