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Blue Gold – The Utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in Light of Islamic Norms and its Impact on the Emerging Law of Transboundary Fossil Aquifers

Wilk, Alexander (2016) Blue Gold – The Utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in Light of Islamic Norms and its Impact on the Emerging Law of Transboundary Fossil Aquifers. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is one of the world’s largest transboundary fossil aquifers and stretches underneath the territories of the North African States of Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Chad. All four States have strong Islamic cultural backgrounds, and Egypt, Libya and Sudan have enshrined Shari'a as a fundamental source of law in their constitutions. This thesis assesses the extent to which the 2008 Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, proposed to the UN General Assembly by the International Law Commission, are compatible with general principles of Islamic water law. Both the 2008 Draft Articles as the current culmination of international groundwater law and Islamic law suffer from certain shortcomings. Whilst the former lacks the same binding authority Islamic law enjoys and to date does not elaborate the potential issue of water commercialisation in water scarce regions, the latter lacks the transboundary perspective in relation to groundwater. This highlights the impact Islamic law could have on the on-going negotiations between the NSAS Aquifer States, whereby specific Islamic provisions could provide stepping-stones towards an innovative utilisation framework for the NSAS that adequately addresses the need for precaution and intergenerational equity, which, inter alia, could instil new impetus for a refined set of Draft Articles. An alternative future is likely to evolve along the lines of separate agreements and a more fragmented corpus of international law rather than a coherent body of codified international law on transboundary fossil aquifers, which would run counter to the International Law Commission’s objective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Alexander Wilk
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 21:54
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 21:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20042

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