Catastrophic Nuclear Accidents: Procedural Implications of the Handling of Mass Tort Claims in a Transboundary Context

Introduction

As part of the ESI-CIL Nuclear Governance Project, Professor Günther Handl delivered a public seminar on 6 July 2017 on the topic of ‘Catastrophic Nuclear Accident: Procedural Implications of the Handling of Mass Tort Claims in a Transboundary Context’. The topic was relevant, considering claims for compensation following any nuclear accident are notoriously challenging, especially in the absence of guidance from international legal instruments. Catastrophic accidents, in particular, may entail mass tort claims with transboundary consequences. In this regard, the domestic procedural laws of each country becomes pertinent. Professor Handl focused on the examples the United States, Japan and India to illustrate the different ways in which claims may be processed and the challenges to ensuring prompt and fair compensation for victims of nuclear accidents.

The event was hosted by the Centre for International Law and was well attended by 28 participants consisting of faculty, students and interested members of the public. Professor Handl is a Senior Research Consultant to the ESI-CIL Nuclear Governance Project and the Eberhard P Deutsch Professor of Public International Law at Tulane University Law School in the United States.

About the Speaker

Professor Günther Handl is the Eberhard P. Deutsch Professor of Public International Law at Tulane University Law School. He is also the senior project consultant for the ESI-CIL Nuclear Governance Project. Professor Handl is an expert in nuclear law and has authored numerous publications relating to nuclear safety, non-proliferation and liability. Professor Handl was a consultant for the Legal Affairs Division in the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) on issues related to the long-term management of nuclear wastes. He was also a consultant for the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions in the United Nations Environmental Programme advising on the guidelines for the development of national legislation on environmental liability and compensation. He has advised the Chairman of the meeting of the Group of Technical and Legal Experts of the Secretariat for the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention) on the Protocol on Liability and Compensation. Professor Handl has served in various capacities in many international organisations, including the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

Presentation

Presentation-on-Claims-Processing-Gunther-Handl-6-July-2017