The Recognition of a Right to a Healthy Environment in Cambodia

Abstract

In pioneering human rights instruments, there is no express provision for a right to a healthy environment as environmental degradation was not significant during that era. With the increasing number of environmental cases around the world as well as in Cambodia, environment has become a higher political priority and many constitutions around the world expressly guarantee right to a healthy environment and other procedural rights necessary to implement and enforce the substantive rights granted. Significantly, right to a healthy environment has received substantial recognition and enjoyed constitutional protection in over 100 countries around the world. However, Cambodia is a holdout, as a right to a healthy environment is not sufficiently recognized under its constitution, environmental legislations, or court decisions. Therefore, this research aims at answering a simple question, “Is it necessary to include the explicit provision for a right to a healthy environment in the Cambodian Constitution in order to ensure an effective enforcement of this right?” Responding to this question, this research focuses on the status and historical background of a right to a healthy environment. It further compares the advantages and disadvantages on constitutionalizing right to a healthy environment by referring to practices from countries that recognized this right in their constitutions. It also discusses why Cambodia needs the right to a healthy environment and what is the legal framework of this right in Cambodian Constitution and existing legal instruments. Finally, this research has concluded that expressed inclusion of a right to a healthy environment in the Cambodian Constitution is fundamental for the full enjoyment of environmental human rights in Cambodia because constitution offers broad and powerful tools for protecting the rights of citizens. However, acknowledging that amendment of the constitution would take years to complete, this research proposes two interim measures: (1) an active role by the Cambodian judicial body in interpret existing human rights to include a right to a healthy environment, or (2) an inclusion of a right to a healthy environment in the Draft of Environment and Natural Resources Code of Cambodia.

 

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LL.M Abstract “ Methodologies for Delimiting the Adjacent Maritime Boundary between Cambodia and Thailand: A View on International Jurisprudence”

Cambodia and Thailand Delimitation Line

Figure 1: Hypothesis Adjacent Maritime Boundary between Cambodia and Thailand

Source: Author’s adjustment of the map in Prescott & Schofield (2001)

Cambodia and Thailand have maritime boundary delimitation disputes for more than half a century over the overlapping claimed territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf within the Gulf of Thailand. Being situated around the semi-enclosed sea, the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia and Thailand are adjacent states; they share a land boundary terminus on the coast and opposite states as location of the two states opposite to each other in the central part of the Gulf of Thailand. While both nations have a great interest over the resources in their claimed maritime zones, the development of those areas between the two nations has been impossible because of their unresolved maritime boundary delimitation. The overlapping area is caused by the different application of both states for delimiting their adjacent maritime boundary. Cambodia determines its adjacent maritime boundary based on the interpretation of 1907 Franco-Siamese Treaty; however, Thailand draws an angle-bisector of the straight baseline segments of the two states’ baseline systems immediately offshore. Continue reading

A Dispute Concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean

Kenya-Somalia-maritime-border.png

The Claimed Lines by Somalia and Kenya

Source: Koome Kimonye, Citizen Digital,. “ Kenya challenges Somalia’s case on Indian Ocean boundary”, 7 October 2015. Available at: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/kenya-challenges-somalias-case-on-indian-ocean-boundaries-102623/

On 28 August 2014, the Federal Republic of Somalia initiated a legal proceeding against the Republic of Kenya before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning maritime delimitation in the Indian Ocean. Somalia requested the Court “to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary diving all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean, including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.” Continue reading

A Short Introduction to Common But Differentiated Responsibility Principle (CBDR)

International environmental law contains numerous principles including sustainable development, polluter pay, precautionary principle, no harm, state responsibility, common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR), and so on. Among these many principles, CBDR is one of the corner stones to promote sustainable development. CBDR establishes that all states are responsible for addressing global environmental destruction, yet they are not equally responsible. This principle balances, on the one hand, the need for all states to take responsibility for global environmental problems and, on the other hand, the need to recognize the wide differences in levels of economic development between states. This idea is similar to the fact that human kind has a collective interest in activities and resources worldwide; however, our ability to protect environment is different due to our capacity and resource.

In this short introductory article to CBDR, this paper covers a short history of the development of CBDR, the underlying ideas and conceptual approach, its interpretation and status, its practices in international environmental treaties, and conclusion. Download: PDF

Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d’lvoire in the Atlantic Ocean

The Disputed Area Source: Request for the Prescription of Provisional Measures Submitted by The Republic of Côte d’lvoire under Art. 290, of the UNCLOS

The Disputed Area
Source: Request for the Prescription of Provisional Measures Submitted by The Republic of Côte d’lvoire under Art. 290, of the UNCLOS

On 3rd December 2014, Ghana and Côte d’lvoire concluded a special agreement to submit their ongoing dispute over the Atlantic Ocean to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). By the order dated 12th January 2015, the Tribunal formed a special chamber composed of five judges to deal with the dispute between the parties.

On 18th February 2015, the President of the special chamber held consultations with the parties with regard to the questions of procedure in the case. During the consultations, the parties agreed to have Ghana submitted its memorial on 4th September 2015, while Côte d’lvoire will file its counter-memorial on 4th April 2016.

In case where the special chamber finds it necessary to authorize the presentation of reply and rejoinder, the time limit for the submission is 4th July 2016 and 4th October 2016 subsequently. Based on the consultations, the President of the special chamber decided for now to have Ghana submitted its memorial on 4th September 2015 and counter-memorial submitted by Côte d’lvoire on 4th April 2016.

The President of the special chamber reserves the right to decide further about the subsequent procedure. On 27th February 2015, Côte d’lvoire has requested the special chamber to order provisional measure in the deputed areas. In its written submission, Côte d’lvoire has sought for provisional measures requiring Ghana to:

  • Suspend all ongoing oil exploration and exploitation operation in the disputed areas;
  • Refrain from granting new permit for oil exploration and exploitation operation in the disputed areas;
  • Take all steps necessary to prevent information resulting from the past, ongoing or future exploration activities conducted by Ghana, or with its authorization, in the disputed area from being used in any way whatsoever to the detriment of Côte d’Ivoire;
  • Take all necessary steps to preserve the continental shelf, its superjacent waters and its subsoil; and
  • Desist and refrain from any unilateral action entailing a risk of prejudice to the rights of Côte d’Ivoire and any unilateral action that might lead to aggravating the dispute.

Are Asian WTO Members Using the WTO DSU ‘Effectively’?

By Michael Ewing-Chow, Alex W. S. Goh, and Akshay Kolse Patil

[Journal of International Economic Law 16(3)]

A Review by Dany Channraksmeychhoukroth

The World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system, governed by the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) has a central role in the enforcement and implementation of WTO commitments. It serves as a central pillar of the multilateral trading system, with the contribution to stability of the global economy.[1] However, WTO members, especially developing countries in Asia, are not equally positioned to access and use it effectively. Continue reading

Dismissal under Japanese Employment Law: A Brief Comparison with Cambodian Labour Law

Under Japanese labour and employment law, termination of employment contract takes three forms: resignation, mandatory retirement, and dismissal. Resignation is based on mutual consent between the two parties of the employment contract, employer and employee. Mandatory retirement takes place on the basic of stipulations in the employment contract, workplace regulations or collective agreement. According to the survey in 2012, 82.7 % of private enterprises set the mandatory retirement age of 60 and 14.3 % choose 65 or above. Continue reading

Cambodia under CEDAW Reporting System (Report of 2013)

CEDAW

As a small country located in Southeast Asia, bordering with Lao, Thailand, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia is one of the state parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Under Article 18 of the Convention, state party has an obligation to report to the CEDAW committee about women rights’ situation and the progress of women rights’ protection. Since 1992, Cambodia had submitted five reports to the committee and the sixth report is due in 2016. Continue reading