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Shared Watercourses and Water Security in South Asia

Challenges of Negotiating and Enforcing Treaties

Series:

Salman M.A. Salman and Kishor Uprety

Shared water resources in South Asia face various challenges including scarcity, population growth, and climate change impacts on all the riparians. Consequently, national calls for water security have become louder. As a result, collaboration among the nations of South Asia for ensuring equitable sharing of such water resources has not been optimal. While most countries do not have reliable systems for data generation, those possessing some hydrological data consider them state secrets, restricting their exchange. Even when treaty obligations exist, data-sharing practices are ad hoc, and the range of information shared is limited. Thus, negotiating new transboundary water treaties amongst South Asia’s riparian countries has become a daunting task, and enforcing existing ones remains a real challenge.

Series:

Jorge E. Viñuales

In The Organisation of the Anthropocene, J. E. Viñuales explores the legal dimensions of the currently advocated new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, in which humans are the defining force. He examines in this context two basic propositions. First, law as a technology of social organisation has been neglected in the otherwise highly technology-focused accounts by natural and social scientists of the drivers of the Anthropocene. Secondly, in those rare instances where law has been discussed, there is a tendency to assume that the role of law is to tackle the negative externalities of transactions (e.g. their environmental or social implications) rather than the core of the underlying transactions, i.e. the organisation of production and consumption processes. Such focus on externalities fails to unveil the role of law in prompting, sustaining and potentially managing the processes that have led to the Anthropocene.

Series:

Salman M. A. Salman and Kishor Uprety

Abstract

Shared water resources have influenced South Asia’s geography and history, as well as riparians’ responses to the challenges of utilizing, managing, and protecting such resources. Because of scarcity, population growth, and climate change impacts on all the riparians, national calls for water security have become louder. Consequently, collaboration among the nations of South Asia for ensuring equitable sharing of such water resources has not been optimal. While most countries do not have reliable systems for data generation, those possessing some hydrological data consider them state secrets, restricting their exchange. Even when treaty obligations exist, data-sharing practices are ad hoc, and the range of information shared is limited. Thus, negotiating new transboundary water treaties amongst South Asia’s riparian countries has become a daunting task, and enforcing existing ones remains a real challenge.

Series:

Jorge E. Viñuales

Abstract

This essay introduces the legal dimensions of the Anthropocene, i.e. the currently advocated new geological epoch in which humans are the defining force. It explores in this context two basic propositions. First, law as a technology of social organisation has been neglected in the otherwise highly technology-focused accounts by natural and social scientists of the drivers of the Anthropocene. Secondly, in those rare instances where law has been discussed, there is a tendency to assume that the role of law is to tackle the negative externalities of transactions (e.g. their environmental or social implications) rather than the core of the underlying transactions, i.e. the organization of production and consumption processes. Such focus on externalities fails to unveil the role of law in prompting, sustaining and potentially managing the processes that have led to the Anthropocene. After a brief introduction to the Anthropocene narrative and the possible role of law in it, it focuses on three main questions: the disconnection between natural and human history, the profound inequalities within the human variable driving the Anthropocene, and the technological transition required to reach a sustainable societal organisation.

The Human Right to Water in Latin America

Challenges to Implementation and Contribution to the Concept

Series:

Anna Berti Suman

In The Human Right to Water in Latin America, Anna Berti Suman investigates the development of the right to water and of water law in the Latin American context. By examining the significance of Latin American constitutional evolution, doctrine, and jurisprudence, the author illustrates the Latin American contribution in stimulating the social, political, and economic debate on the right to water, regionally and worldwide.

Through an overview on the right to water in Latin American constitutions and of the main Latin American water management systems, Berti Suman argues that an analysis of the right to water has to take account of its application in specific contexts. The intrinsic connection between the right to water and the role of the private sector is examined through topical insights into the highly privatized Chilean water services. In the conclusion, the relevance of the lessons learnt from the Latin American experience for the global debate on the right to water is convincingly proved.

The Human Right to Water in Latin America

Challenges to Implementation and Contribution to the Concept

Series:

Anna Berti Suman

Abstract

This monograph investigates the development of the right to water (RtW) and of water law in the Latin American context. Specifically, it examines the significance of Latin American (la) constitutional evolution, doctrine, and jurisprudential contribution in stimulating the social, political, and economic debate on the RtW, regionally and worldwide. Firstly, an overview on the RtW in la constitutions is provided and the impact of the findings is highlighted. The main la water management systems are then reviewed with an acknowledgment that an analysis of the RtW has to take account of its application in specific contexts. The intrinsic connection between the RtW and the role of the private sector is examined through specific insights into the highly privatized Chilean water services. Lessons learnt from the la experience are outlined in the conclusion and their relevance for the global debate on the RtW is illustrated.

Inter-state Water Law in the United States of America

What Lessons for International Water Law?

Series:

Rhett Larson

The rich field of inter-state water law in the United States illustrates both successes and failures in transboundary water management and allocation. In Inter-state Water Law in the United States of America: What Lessons for International Water Law?, this domestic field of transboundary water law is compared and contrasted with international transboundary water law. This analysis is accompanied by a discussion and evaluation of the different cases of shared watercourses that applied these approaches, and a comparison of each of them to similar approaches in international water law. The analysis draws lessons for international water law from inter-states water law - highlighting the successful inter-states approaches that can be adopted by international water law, as well as the approaches that failed, and which should be avoided.

Series:

Valsamis Mitsilegas and Fabio Giuffrida

The last decades have witnessed a growing emphasis on the relationship between environmental law and criminal law. Legislation aimed at tackling environmental crime has been adopted at national, EU, and international level and has been gradually evolving over time. These developments notwithstanding, the current legal framework faces a number of challenges in tackling the largely inter-related phenomena of transnational, organised and economic environmental crime. This study by Valsamis Mitsilegas and Fabio Giuffrida addresses these challenges by focusing on the role of the European Union- and more specifically its criminal justice agencies (Europol and Eurojust)- in tackling transnational environmental crime. The study analyses the role of Eurojust and Europol in supporting and coordinating the competent national authorities dealing with investigations and/or prosecutions on transnational environmental crime, and it shows that, for the time being, the full potential of these agencies is not adequately exploited with regard to fighting this phenomenon effectively