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33 Envtl. Pol'y & L. 1 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/envpola33 and id is 1 raw text is: 


   For this first issue of2003 we still need to report on some events at the end of the old year, which
came  too late to be covered then.
   We are therefore publishing this issue before the relevant activities for 2003 have really begun,
for example the 22nd session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP   GC/GMEF)   scheduled from 2-7 February.

   For a long time, no special discussion of environmental law in general has taken place, but there
is now a detailed paper dealing with the follow-up ofMontevideo III (Report on the Implementation
of the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law for the first
Decade  of the Twenty-first Century) on the agenda of the UNEPGC/GMEF. We hope that this will
instigate at least a short, substantive discussion on implementation, development and codification
of environmental law.

   In view of the world situation at the moment and the uncertainty surrounding a possible war with
Iraq, other considerations seem very minor. We hope that by the time this issue reaches our readers,
war will have been rejected as a solution. This would give us a new chance to deal positively with
other global problems that badly need attention. Perhaps this would also give the US President a
chance to re-think his policy towards the environment. We hope, to use the phrase of the New York
Times that, the environmental war clouds are disasppearing and there will then be less concen-
tration on the wishes of the oil and some other industries. For a non-American citizen, it is really
frightening to read such an article, detailing the attempted reversal of 30 years of bipartisan envi-
ronmental law, in a prominent US newspaper.

   Other news is not much better. The oil disaster off the coast of Spain, although it has less interna-
tional, has nonetheless serious regional impacts. We are again speaking of the same industry inter-
ests, since it is recognised that many ships are not safe enough for what they are transporting.
Stronger regulations continue to be opposed by the same interests, who then take part in the fight
afterwards as to who is liable.
   This liability, not just particular to this case, but in general, has been discussed several times in
the International Law Commission (ILC) and the European Union and other fora, but so far with
little success - in spite of the many appeals which are continually coming from the decision makers.

                                                              %      20 January 2003

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