There is little doubt that war has a deleterious effect on the natural environment of battlegrounds. Customary principles of international law, as well as more formal instruments such as treaties, address wartime environmental protection. An analysis of these mechanisms reveals that they are inadequate to ensure protection and restoration of environmental resources damaged during war. Thus, a mechanism is needed for assessing civil liability against nations for any wartime environmental damage. The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), created to compensate victims of the Persian Gulf War, is a mechanism that if modified could fill this void. This Note focuses on the modifications that could make the UNCC a successful mechanism for assessing civil liability for wartime environmental damage. Further, this Note applies the adapted UNCC to the Iraq War, and examines whether U.S.-led coalition forces should be held civilly liable for damage to Iraq’s natural environment.
Keith P. McManus,
Civil Liability for Wartime Environmental Damage: Adapting the United Nations Compensation for the Iraq War ,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.