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  • Reflections on environmental responsibility, with an emphasis on the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea area
  • Meistara
  • This LL.M thesis study on Reflections on environmental responsibility – with an emphasis on the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea area systematizes, analyses and answers the research question: In the case of environmental damage on the Baltic Sea, due to the Nord Stream pipeline project, who is to be held liable for the damage and how is this liability established, and what are the criteria to be applied?
    To answer this question, the study strives to first to indentify the applicable legal regime for the Nord Stream case scenario. Second, the study looks into the legal regime to find out whether it solves the research problem or not. For these purposes, chapter two systematizes the Nord Stream project case facts, as well as the significance of the case for the Baltic Sea area. The important rights and obligations are as well presented. Chapter three sets the scene for environmental liability by looking deeper into the rights and obligations from responsibility and liability perspective, in the framework of protection and preservation of the marine environment. Chapter four defines responsibility and liability towards environmental damage, as well as looks into the international and environmental civil liability instruments. Chapter five is important for the study; the chapter’s view is state responsibility and liability. Lastly, chapter six looks into the pollute pays principle to find out what does this principle add into the framework set in the earlier chapters.
    There is no direct answer to the question set for the study; there is no generally applicable legal regime on environmental responsibility or liability available – for the Baltic Sea area or marine environment in general – that would solve the possible disagreement in the Nord Stream case. The study is therefore required to into the basic concepts like environmental damage, responsibility and liability, as well as into the basic rights and obligations of international marine environmental law. Relevant generally applicable principles of international environmental law are also analyzed. The significance of interest balancing, as well as primary and secondary rules are pointed out, in line with the research problem of the study.
    Therefore establishment of responsibility, or furthermore liability, requires always a case specific viewpoint where the applicable general principles lead the way. Finally, it seems that the importance of sufficiently defined primary obligations is central, for setting up applicable criteria for the establishment of responsibility and liability in the Nord Stream case in the Baltic Sea area.

  • 1.2.2010

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