Environmental liability under the terminal operators convention : a South African perspective
Murungi, Jane Enid Nganzi
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This dissertation examines the Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade Terminal Operators Convention (hereafter the TOC) in light of South Africa's environmental law. Entrenched in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and other sectoral environmental legislation, are environmental rights and responsibilities, that may govern a terminal operator's activities irrespective of other international environmental obligations. This dissertation explains the role of a terminal operator and illustrates how his activities pose potential adverse effects the environment. Under South African law, a terminal operator who pollutes the environment will under certain circumstances be liable for environmental damage and loss. The dissertation focuses on interpreting article 5( 1) of the TOC by using some South African modes of judicial interpretation. In particular, it considers whether under the TOC, a terminal operator could be liable for loss or damage to the environment. To facilitate this determination, a comprehensive study of the principle of remoteness, and the role it plays in determining the extent to which loss or damage can be covered, is made. The dissertation postulates that the TOC would use similar principles to determine the scope of damages it governs. The dissertation notes the inadequacies of the TOC, the greatest being that it is unlikely to cover environmental loss and damage. The author draws ideas from the TOC and other international environmental instruments, and proposes that South Africa should promulgate suitable legislation that imposes rigorous liability on a terminal operator, for environmental pollution.
- Law