From Nuisance to Environmental Protection in Continental Europe
29 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2019 Last revised: 10 Feb 2019
Date Written: November 10, 2018
This paper analyzes the evolution and complexity of the legal response to neighboring conflicts in European civil law countries. All of the civil codes analyzed (France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Catalonia) are based on Roman Law rules that are not always clear. The fuzziness of those Roman Law rules explains, in part, why despite this common origin, the Civil Codes did not respond homogeneously to nuisances. The first subsection briefly describes the institution of nuisance in Roman Law. Then, the paper describes the original codification of nuisance and the changes in the treatment of this institution. After assessing the initial divergence and the trends towards similar rules across jurisdictions, the paper explains the potential forces of convergence at the European level: the Draft Common Frame of Reference, the European Union Environmental Liability Directive, and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. It is important to note that this article only focuses on regulations and remedies related to non-trespassory invasions on real property, not on non-invasive, aesthetic nuisances.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation