Accession Number:

ADA422385

Title:

International Environmental Law and Naval War Newport paper no. 15

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI CENTER FOR NAVAL WARFARE STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2000-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

380.0

Abstract:

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF GENUINE CONCERN about the impact of war on the human environment can be found since the earliest civilizations. Yet, the history of war is replete with examples of serious devastation of the enemys land and property. The relationship between peacetime human activities and the environment is in the stage of advanced public debate and scholarly attention, and much progress has been made in recent years regarding the development of appropriate instruments and institutions pertaining to the protection of the environment in peacetime. The cornerstone of modern International Environmental Law is the prohibition of transfrontier pollution, according to which, States have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or to areas beyond national jurisdiction. In addition, there is now a substantial body of international treaties laying down detailed regimes for various environmental sectors. Recent international conflicts, such as the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq and the 1990-1991 Gulf wars, have raised fundamental questions about the relationship between modern International Environmental Law and armed conflict. The notion that rules of general International Environmental Law continue to apply during armed conflict is now well accepted. In its 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the International Court of Justice stressed that the obligations of States to respect and protect the natural environment, applied equally to the actual use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.1 However, the international legal principles for the protection of the environment in armed conflict which are usually cited, remain at a very high level of abstraction. In the above advisory opinion, the Court offered the following broad statement

Subject Categories:

  • Naval Surface Warfare
  • Environmental Health and Safety

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE