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Trans frontier pollution – nuclear tests case study

Pollution has always been a major cause of concern for the whole of humanity since the age of
industrialization. Man’s greed for profit at the cost of ecological degradation and destruction is a
never ending story. The pollution thus caused is not always confined to the geographical location
where it originated, sometimes it may cross boundaries and contaminate the resources of another
state which causes disputes between the two states. The pollution may travel via air or water and
the pollution may be in the form of nuisance, damage or illness. Prior to World War II the case
of Trans frontier pollution was confined to conventional cases of pollution that was common in
industrialized societies but after the advent of the nuclear weapons this changed. Nuclear
contamination was recognized as a major cause of pollution. Even though nuclear weapons were
seldom employed the testing of the same causes the pollution. This project specifically deals
with one specific case commonly known as the nuclear tests case – ‘ Australia V France and
New Zealand V France ‘. The project mainly deals with the principles used in the case and the
ratio employed. The main principles evolved in the Rio as well as Stockholm declaration are
dealt in this project with particular importance to a specific principle given forward by a Latin
maxim – ‘Sic Utere Tuo Ut Alienum Non Laedas’. The above mentioned principle means that
states have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not
cause damage to the environment of other states. Other international conventions with respect to
nuclear testing and the civil liability arising out of the same have been dealt in this project.


 To study the nuclear tests case in detail

 To study the concept of trans frontier pollution and discuss the various laws governing it
 To analyses the concept of state responsibility with respect to the sic utere principle.

 Whether unilateral act made by the government creates legal effect?

 Whether states are responsible by itself for the harm caused by Trans frontier pollution to
other states?
 How is sic utere principle related to state responsibility?