Article 32

32.2 Application


Company X in State A pollutes the international watercourse in State A and adversely affects individuals in downstream State B. What basic obligations and remedies exist under Article 32 in this situation? State A has an international responsibility to State B of exercising due diligence in preventing or abating the transboundary harm (Article 7 of the UN Watercourses Convention); the dispute may therefore need to be settled at this state level. However the dispute may also be settled satisfactorily through the principle of non-discrimination and equal access to national remedies.

Individuals of State B are entitled procedurally to bring a claim by virtue of Article 32 of the Convention in the domestic courts of state A where it could be considered satisfactory recourse that Company X pay the affected individuals of state B compensation under the domestic civil liability regime of state A, and depending on the facts of the case it could be that no further international liability will exist. It is also important to note that the court in state A will apply any relevant binding national and international law to the case. Finally, if the private recourse does not produce a satisfactory resolution, Article 33, which sets out the basic rules for the settlement of watercourse disputes on the inter-state level, could be used to resolve the case through state level mechanisms.

 

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