Developments in the Law of Environmental Reparations: A Case Study of the UN Compensation Commission

Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles and Practices (C. Stahn, J. Iverson, & J. Easterday, eds., Oxford University Press 2017)

Rutgers Law School Research Paper

43 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019

See all articles by Cymie R. Payne

Cymie R. Payne

Rutgers University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law, Camden

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

The United Nations Compensation Commission (‘UNCC’) is a unique model for liability and compensation of environmental damage in an international context, influencing both jus in bello and jus post bellum. The 1990–91 Gulf War to evict Iraq from Kuwait was a public spectacle of intentional and collateral environmental damage. It was followed by the UNCC’s more discreet legal process that catalogued, assessed, and awarded money to pay to clean and repair the damaged soil, water, coastal ecosystems, and other harms. The UNCC’s contributions include integration of environmental law principles into the reparations process; use of advanced techniques for assessment of environmental damage; and use of a multilateral process in a way that balanced confidentiality and transparency. The UNCC environmental programme advanced international law most significantly by serving notice that environmental damage caused in relation to an armed conflict can be a culpable offence. In 1995, it was said that environment is a new concept and that ‘new’ environmental delicts will be subject to the Nuremberg defendants’ claim that they are ex post facto and therefore illegitimate. Participants in conflicts today cannot make that claim.

Keywords: environmental protection, IHL, law of armed conflict, reparations, international courts, reparations, compensation, environmental liability

Suggested Citation

Payne, Cymie R., Developments in the Law of Environmental Reparations: A Case Study of the UN Compensation Commission (2017). Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles and Practices (C. Stahn, J. Iverson, & J. Easterday, eds., Oxford University Press 2017); Rutgers Law School Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3312931

Cymie R. Payne (Contact Author)

Rutgers University ( email )

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New Brunswick, NJ 08901
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HOME PAGE: http://www.cymiepayne.org

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law, Camden

Camden, NJ
United States

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