Research Handbook on International Water Law
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Research Handbook on International Water Law

Edited by Stephen C. McCaffrey, Christina Leb and Riley T. Denoon

The Research Handbook on International Water Law surveys the field of the law of shared freshwater resources. In some thirty chapters, it covers subjects ranging from the general principles operative in the field and international groundwater law to the human right to water and whether international water law is prepared to cope with climate disruption. The authors are internationally recognized experts in the field, most with years of experience. The Research Handbook is edited by three scholars and practitioners whose publications and work deal with the law of international watercourses.
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Chapter 3: The global water treaties and their relationship

Attila Tanzi


This chapter analyses the similarities between the 1992 UNECE Water Convention and the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention. By referring to the principle of harmonization and the general aim of systemic coherence of international law, the contribution argues the complementarity between the two normative instruments. It tackles both the substantive water law principles, namely the no harm rule and the equitable and reasonable utilization principle, and the procedural principle of cooperation as a catalyst giving effect to the substantive rules and principles in point. To that end, institutional cooperation and exchange of data and information are given special emphasis. The contribution addresses the substantive and procedural legal principles in point in relation to dispute prevention and settlement, also in light of recent case law. It concludes showing that a harmonized, constructive and mutually reinforcing interpretation of the two treaty regimes fully conforms to the rationale of both conventions.

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