Article 12

12.1 Commentary

The requirement of notifying on planned measures is embodied in numerous international agreements,264 declarations and resolutions,265 decisions of courts and tribunals,266 and studies by intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. The widespread support of the principle reveals the importance that states and expert institutions attach to the issues of prior notification on planned measures.

264 Examples of treaties include: Art XI of the Additional Act of 26 May 1866 to the Boundary Treaties of 2 December 1856, 14 April 1862 and 26 May 1866 (ratified on 12 July 1866) reprinted in 24 International Law Reports (1961) 102-105; Art 4 of the Convention of 25 May 1954 between Yugoslavia and Austria concerning water economy questions relating to the Drava (entered into force on 15 January 1955) UNTS, vol. 227, p. 111; Art VII (2) of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty; Art XXIX of the 1966 ILA Helsinki Rules; Art 4 of the 1972 Convention Relating to the Status of the Senegal River; Arts 7-12 of the 1975 Statute of the Uruguay River, reprinted in Actos Internacionales, Uruguay-Argentina, 1830-1980 (1981) at 593.

265 See, for example, Recommendation 51 of the Action Plan for the Human Environment adopted by the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972: “Nations agree that when major water resource activities are contemplated that may have a significant environmental effect on another country, the other country should be notified well in advance of the activity envisaged.” Reprinted in United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14 and corrigendum, part one, chap. II.B; Declaration of Montevideo, adopted by the Seventh International Conference of American States, First Supplement 1933-1940 (1940) at 109; Recommendation C(74)224 adopted by the Council of OECD on 14 November 1974 (OECD, OECD and the Environment (Paris, 1986)), p. 142; Report of the United Nations Water Conference, Mar del Plata, 14-25 March 1977 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.77.II.A.12), part one, chap. I., pp. 51-52, especially Recommendation 86 (g); Principles 6, 7 of the Draft principles of conduct in the field of the environment for the guidance of States in the conservation and harmonious utilisation of natural resources shared by two or more states (adopted by the Governing Council of UNEP in 1978) available at <> accessed 30 April 2012.

266 See 1957 Lac Lanoux Arbitration; 1997 Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Case; 2010 Pulp Mills Case.

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Notification Process for Planned Measures


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