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Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia)

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    Bloomberg Law

    Citation. I.C.J. 1997 I.C.J. 7

    Brief Fact Summary. Siting ecological necessity and fundamentally changed circumstances, Hungary (P) claimed that it could terminate a treaty for the construction of a system of dams and other works on the Danube River.


    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The corpus of international law which relates to the environment now consists of the general obligation of states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction and control respects the environment of other states or areas beyond national control.


    Facts. The treaty for the construction of a series of dams along the Danube was signed in 1977 by Hungary (P). Slovakia (D) and Hungary (P) however came before the I.C.J. for resolution after disputes arose between them.


    Issue. Does the corpus of international law which relates to the environment now consists of the general obligations of states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction and control respects the environment of other states or areas beyond national control?


    Held. Yes. The corpus of international law which relates to the environment now consists of the general obligation of states to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction and control respects the environment of other states or areas beyond national control. The concept of sustainable development is in consonance with the need to reconcile economic development with the protection of the environment. Hence, the terms of agreements to implement must be negotiated by the parties.


    Discussion. The need for both environmental protection and economic development was confirmed by the Court. A Chamber on Environmental Matters was established by the Court in 1993. In this case, the Court found that neither of the party could singlehandedly revoke the treaty.



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