Trail Smelter Arbitration (United State/Canada), 3 U.N. Rep. Int’l Arb. Awards 1905 (1941)

Facts: there was a smelter at trail in Canada causing pollution in USA. A large amount of zinc, lead and sulphur emitted by smelter causing pollution in USA and detrioting the condition of environment in USA.

Issue: whether trail smelter is liable for causing pollution in state of Washington, USA?

Observation and Decision: a state owes at all times a duty to protect other states against injurious acts by individual from within its jurisdiction. No State has the right to use or permit the use of its territory in such a manner as to cause injury by fumes in or to the territory of another or the properties or persons therein, when the case is of serious consequence and the injury is established by clear and convincing evidence. Considering the circumstances of the case, the Tribunal holds that the Dominion of Canada is responsible in international law for the conduct of the Trail Smelter and directed to pay damages to USA with interest.

Case Concerning the Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia), International Court of Justice, Judgment of 25 September 1997 (separate opinion of Vice-President Weeramantry)

Facts: In the case the dispute is in b/w Slovakia and Hungary over the project established by Slovakia over development of its country and Hungary who is against the same because that will cause pollution and ecological imbalance.

Observation: “Development” means, of course, development not merely for the sake of development and the economic gain it produces, but for its value in increasing the sum total of human happiness and welfare.

The protection of the environment is likewise a vital part of contemporary human rights doctrine, for it is a sine qua non for numerous human rights such as the right to health and the right to life itself, damage to the environment can impair and undermine al1 the human rights spoken of in the Universal Declaration and other human rights instruments.

There is a duty lying upon al1 members of the community to preserve the integrity and purity of the environment. Natural resources are not individually, but collectively, owned, and a principle of their use is that they should be used for the maximum service of people. There should be no waste, and there should be a maximization of the use of plant and animal species, while preserving their regenerative powers. The purpose of development is the betterment of the condition of the people.

Environmental Impact Assessment- the scope and extent of the environmental impact principle in the sense that environmental impact assessment means not merely an assessment prior to the commencement of the project, but a continuing assessment and evaluation as long as the project is in operation.EIA must continue, for every such project can have unexpected consequences; and considerations of prudence would point to the need for continuous monitoring.

The greater the size and scope of the project, the greater is the need for a continuous monitoring of its effects, for EIA before the scheme can never be expected, in a matter so complex as the environment, to anticipate every possible environmental danger.

Case Concerning Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina/Uruguay), International Court of Justice, Judgment of 20 April 2010

Issue: whether the Uruguay by authorization operation of two mills violated the statute of 1975 and cause damage to Argentina?

It’s every State‘s obligation not to allow knowingly its territory to be used for acts contrary to the rights of other States‖ Corfu Channel United Kingdom v. Albania , Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1949, p. 22). A State is thus obliged to use all the means at its disposal in order to avoid activities which take place in its territory, or in any area under its jurisdiction, causing significant damage to the environment of another State.

This Court has established that this obligation ―is now part of the corpus of international law relating to the environment.

EMA: The Court notes that the environmental impact assessments which are necessary to reach a decision on any plan that is liable to cause significant transboundary harm to another State must be notified by the party concerned to the other party, through

CARU, pursuant to Article 7, second and third paragraphs, of the 1975 Statute. This notification is intended to enable the notified party to participate in the process of ensuring that the assessment is complete, so that it can then consider the plan and its effects with a full knowledge of the facts.

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