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Part VIII Compliance, Implementation, and Effectiveness, Ch.58 International Environmental Responsibility and Liability

Christina Voigt

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Lavanya Rajamani, Jacqueline Peel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 28 March 2023

Responsibility of non-state actors — Command responsibility — International environmental law — Responsibility of international organizations

This chapter analyses the relationship between international environmental law and state responsibility, considering primary obligations, environmental harm, and the standard of care/due diligence. Accountability for internationally illegal acts, such as breach of a treaty or the violation of customary law rules, is relatively well developed in general international law under the concept of state responsibility, though not in a codified, treaty-based manner and some uncertainties exist. In general, ‘state responsibility’ refers to the accountability of a state for a violation of international law and is premised upon an internationally wrongful act which can be attributed to a state. The consequences of international responsibility for a wrongful act are the obligation of the wrongdoer to cease that act, to offer assurances of non-repetition, and to make full reparation of the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act, including compensation for environmental damage. On the other hand, rules for strict liability for environmental harm resulting from lawful activities are not so well established, and remain singular and exceptional.

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