Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/4605
The Environmental Liability Directive of 2004. Traditional Administrative Mechanisms with a New Name
Wherever analysed, discussed or merely mentioned, it is always pointed out that the Liability Directive is the outcome of a very long and controversial process and that it constitutes a compromise solution. Yet also the final version of the Liability Directive is not uncontroversial. Why else would the process of implementation in the Member States be so cumbersome even though the deadline for implementation was 30 April 2007. The history of the Directive and its final text were and are surrounded by the notions of civil and public liability, as well as of public and private law in an environmental context. There does, however, not exist any clarity of the precise meaning of those terms nor if the Liability Directive really deserves to contain the term liability in its title. Therefore, this thesis shall inquire if the Liability Directive really establishes a liability regime and of what kind the regime actually is that the Directive covers. It will show that the Liability Directive establishes a liability regime that complements already existing environmental liability schemes and is at the same time of greater environmental benefit than any of the other schemes. It will also show that the Directive has implications for principles of international environmental law. It will, thus, focus on both the detailed design of the liability scheme and on its general role as a mechanism to protect the environment. In order to do so, in the first chapter the notions of traditional liability as well as the term environment as found in the European law context will be clarified. The second chapter will give an overview over the historical development of the Directive and of the liability regimes it comprises. The third chapter will set out the regime of the Directive and pay special attention again to whether or not and what type of liability it sets up. Lastly, in the fourth chapter, the problems of the implementation process of the Directive into the Member States’ laws will b examined and assessed if the implementation improves the national liability systems for environmental damage.