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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 49: UN Economic Commission for Europe: Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, 1992


Commentary: The Convention (31 ILM 1330 (1992), entry into force 2000) protects human health and the environment by preventing industrial accidents as far as possible, reducing their frequency and severity and by mitigating their effects. Article 7 provides that Parties of origin shall establish policies on the siting of new hazardous activities and on significant modifications to existing hazardous activities. Article 9 contemplates providing information to the public, opportunities for procedural participation and commencing legal actions. The Convention leaves national law unaffected, thereby protecting information related to industrial and commercial secrecy, including intellectual property (Article 22). Relevant Annexes include hazardous substances for the purposes of defining hazardous activities (Annex I), preventive measures pursuant to Article 6 (Annex IV), decision-making on siting pursuant to Article 7 (Annex VII), emergency preparedness measures pursuant to Article 8 (Annex VIII), industrial accident notification systems pursuant to Article 10 (Annex IX) and exchanging information pursuant to Article 15 (Annex XI). See COP Decision 2002/3 for the long-term programme of work. See further, the 2003 Protocol on Civil Liability for Damage and Compensation for Damage Caused by Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents on Transboundary Waters. Additionally relevant instruments include the UN ECE Code of Conduct on Accidental Pollution of Transboundary Inland Waters; the UN ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, 1979 (entry into force 1983) and its eight protocols. For intergovernmental responses to industrial accidents, see UNEP Industry and Environment Programme (1988), ‘Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at the Local Level (APELL): A Process for...

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