The Multiple Challenges
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino
Chapter 2: The law of international watercourses: achievements and challenges
From Harmon to Harmony was the title of a master’s essay written some years ago by one of the author’s students. Stability has not been reached in this field, international law has clearly moved away from both the Harmon doctrine of territoriality and the theory of integrity to a set of principles that appear more equitable but less simple and certain. The field covered by the present book is vast and reveals the existence of a wind of change. New uses, regimes and facilities have brought new problems, challenges and disputes: the attribution of the Nile waters, the Gab_ikovo-Nagymaros dispute and the San Juan River controversies, to mention but a few. A new Convention was concluded in 1997, based on the work of the International Law Commission. Today, 16 years after its inception, the 1997 Convention still awaits its entry into force. This shows how sensitive and divisive watercourse problems and disputes continue to be, and that the contrast between upper and lower riparians remains a central issue.
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