Law, Justice, and Development

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The Law, Justice, and Development series is offered by the Legal Vice Presidency of the World Bank to provide insights into aspects of law and justice that are relevant to the development process. Works in the series present new legal and judicial reform activities related to the World Bank’s work, as well as analyses of domestic and international law. The series is intended to be accessible to a broad audience as well as to legal practitioners.

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  • Publication
    Regulatory Frameworks for Water Resources Management : A Comparative Study
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2006) Salman, Salman M. A.; Bradlow, Daniel
    Water is a scarce and finite resource with no substitute, and upon which the very existence of life on earth depends. The challenges facing water resources are daunting. The Millennium Development Goals aim, inter alia, at reducing by half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Although progress thus far is not encouraging, it is hoped that necessary actions will be taken to achieve this goal during the remaining period. Such actions include financial, institutional, and legal measures. Indeed, without the appropriate legal framework, the ability of the state to regulate, control, and allocate its water resources is hampered; its role in ensuring their efficient and proper use is hindered; and its right to protect those resources is challenged. This study of the regulatory frameworks for water resources management examines water legislation in sixteen jurisdictions, and highlights, in a comparative manner, the key elements needed for an effective regulatory framework. Chapter 1 traces the relevance and importance assigned to water legislation by the different international conferences and forums, including the Mar del Plata, Dublin, and Rio, and the guidance provided by those conferences for preparing such legislation. Chapter 2 surveys the regulatory frameworks for water resources management in sixteen jurisdictions, based on certain key elements. Those jurisdictions were selected based on the availability and accessibility of a water law, as well as on the need to represent different regions and legal systems of the world. Chapter 3 presents a comparative analysis of these regulatory frameworks based on the same elements. The analysis examines the main similarities and differences in the approaches adopted by the jurisdictions selected. Chapter 4 highlights essential elements that need to be addressed in any regulatory framework for water resources management, and identifies emerging trends in water legislation. Finally, Chapter 5 underscores the relevance and importance of the regulatory framework, and specifies conditions supporting its utility and efficacy.
  • Publication
    The Human Right to Water : Legal and Policy Dimensions
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Salman, Salman M.A.; McInerney-Lankford, Siobhán
    The evolution of the right to water can be traced to the developments of the early 1970s. This Study analyzes the resolutions and declarations of the various conferences and forums that have been held since that time, and the ways in which they have confronted the issue of the right to water. The Study then discusses the evolution of the international legal regime for the protection and promotion of human rights, and pays particular attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The role of each of the committees established to oversee the implementation of the two Covenants is considered in some detail. Particular attention is given to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, its evolution, and its strengthening, and the practice of issuing General Comments. The last two parts of the Study are devoted to General Comment No. 15, which recognizes the human right to water. These parts analyze the extent to which the Comment recognizes a legal right to water, and highlights some policy aspects that are related to, and may affect, this right. The core thesis of this book is that there exists, within the legal framework of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a human right to water because it is a right that inheres in several other rights, and a right without which key provisions of the Covenant would be rendered ineffectual. This conclusion is buttressed also by the interpretative authority that lies with the Committee having evolved from its initial form as a Working Group, to what is now undeniably, a fully-fledged entity, with significant formal authority and legitimacy. Although this conclusion acknowledges that General Comments do not create new rights, it recognizes that General Comment No. 15 extrapolates the normative and practical bases of a human right to water within the fabric of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Together with a number of General Assembly resolutions on the issue, including the Millennium Development Goal related to water, as well as the voluminous body of soft law provisions, the General Comment arguably provides further evidence that there is an incipient right to water evolving in public international law today. Moreover, the Comment has offered a new momentum to efforts aimed at translating those soft law commitments into substantive, precise, and legally binding obligations.
  • Publication
    Legislating for Sustainable Fisheries : A Guide to Implementing the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001) Edeson, Willaim; Freestone, David; Gudmundsdottir, Elly
    Increasing concerns have been raised about the sustainability of many fish stocks. A number of international instruments, both voluntary and binding, have been formulated to address this. Two important binding agreements designed to adress this problem on a global basis are the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement. However, neither of these agreements has yet entered into force. For some countries, particularly smaller developing countries, the very complexity of the task of transposing the provision of these agreements into national law may itself be an obstacle to, or cause delay in, becoming a party to them. the purpose of this guide is to facilitate the ratification or acceptance of these agreements in such countries. The guide provides an outline of some of the most significant provisions of the two agreements and a "toolkit" of the various approaches that have already been used by those few states that have already enacted national legislation to meet the obligations and the objectives contained in these two agreements.