International Law and Freshwater
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International Law and Freshwater

The Multiple Challenges

Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

International Law and Freshwater connects recent legal developments through the breadth and synergies of a multidisciplinary analysis. It addresses such critical issues as water security, the right to water, international cooperation and dispute resolution, State succession to transboundary watercourse treaties, and facets of international economic law, including trade in ‘virtual water’ and the impacts of ‘land grabs’.
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Chapter 2: The law of international watercourses: achievements and challenges

Lucius Caflisch


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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