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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 46: Council of Europe: Convention on Civil Liability for Damage Resulting from Activities Dangerous to the Environment, 1993


Commentary: The Lugano Convention (1993) ETS 150 (not yet in force) covers all types of damage (including environmental damage) and is not limited to that of a transboundary nature. Hence its provisions go further than several governments are prepared to accept. Article 14 provides that any person may access environmental information held by ‘public authorities’ (further defined in Article 13) without having to prove an interest but that this right may be restricted where it affects inter alia commercial or industrial confidentiality, including intellectual property. Article 18 provides that environmental protection associations or foundations may request the prohibition of dangerous activities which are unlawful and pose grave threats of environmental damage or that operators be ordered to adopt preventive or reinstatement measures. Article 19 concerning jurisdiction provides that compensation actions may only be brought before the national courts of the State where damage was suffered, where dangerous activities were conducted or where defendants have their habitual residence. Annex I lists criteria and methods for several categories of dangerous substances and Annex II identifies installations or sites for incinerating, treating, handling or recycling waste. On laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to classifying, packaging and labelling dangerous substances, see EC Directives 67/548/EEC (1967) (OJEC No. L196/1), 88/379/EEC (1988) (OJEC No. L187/14), 90/492/EEC (1990) (OJEC No. L275/35), 92/32/EEC (1992) (OJEC No. L154/1) & 92/37/EEC (1992) (OJEC No. L154/30). See also, EC Commission Proposal for a Council Directive on Civil Liability for Damage Caused by Waste (1989) OJEC 251, 3 as amended (1991) OJEC...

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