Muddying the Waters? The Water Pollution Control Ordinance and Defining Pollution of Rivers and Streams in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 3, p. 481, 2004
Posted: 29 Aug 2006
In this article the authors consider whether the dictionary definition of pollution adopted by the Court of First Instance in The Secretary for Justice v Flame Construction Company Limited and Others is appropriate and, in particular, whether the definition can sustain prosecutions for common types of discharges which are damaging to rivers and streams. Emphasis is placed on the difficulty of demonstrating unequivocally that ecological "harm" is caused by discharges, as this has important implications for laws that are intended to protect the environment. The authors conclude that without an amendment to the Water Pollution Control Ordinance that would provide an appropriate definition of pollution, effective prosecutions for the pollution of rivers and streams in Hong Kong cannot be pursued.
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