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Press Release

Justice for Environment – A Mute Victim in Armed conflicts

TERRE Recommends Strong and clear international laws

Justice for Environment – A Mute Victim in Armed conflicts Paris, 11th June 2012 : “It is not just climate change but violent social change and military led political change also cause irreversible damages to the environment. Arab Springs may not prove to be the real springs in the nature. We need to re-look at the international laws to prevent and punish such environmental damages”, said Rajendra Shende, Chairman of TERRE policy Centre while launching a policy paper on the subject on the eve of Rio+20 summit.

Policy paper researched by Charlotte Collin, a post graduate student of the Sorbonne Law School, Paris and a researcher at TERRE Policy Centre argues that present provisions in the international law to pin the responsibilities of the environmental damages during armed after the armed conflicts need to be strengthened and clarified in no uncertain terms.

The paper while taking the well thought out recommendations of UNEP further, strongly recommends that State’s responsibility need to be pinned down through the provision of the applicability of International Environmental Law (IEL) through the articles of International Law Commission. This would pave the way to transfer the burden of the proof of the applicability of International Environmental Law from the injured State to the other State.

Apart from the recommendations already made for permanent UN body for the strengthening of the role of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), there is additional and urgent need to make capacity building efforts for judges, government official and civil society on these provisions to improve the compliance and to ensure the applicability of the provisions in no uncertain terms. “International Court of Justice (ICJ) has never accepted to sanction the belligerent States on the ground of the violation of IEL, it is prudent to concentrate awareness and capacity building efforts on the ICJ judges and non-government groups by bringing them together”, added Mr. Shende.

The Policy paper , which for the first time relates the International Law Commission work to the International Environmental Law, is part of the policy research wing of TERRE.

Note to the Editors: TERRE Policy Centre is not-for-profit organization dedicated Technology, Education, Research, and Rehabilitation for Environment.