Centre for International Law

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

23 March 2017 | Joint Seminar


The processing of claims for compensation following any nuclear accident poses notoriously difficult challenges. They are particularly severe, however, in a catastrophic accident situation entailing mass tort claims and, especially so, in a transboundary context. This presentation will review some of these challenges by examining first, relevant principles of and precedents in general international law. It then examines how—absent any guidance from international legal instruments—the domestic procedural laws of key states, such as the USA, Japan and India seek to address the problem of ensuring prompt and fair compensation of victims of such nuclear accidents.


Download Professor Günther Handl’s presentation in PDF format.

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.

Professor Günther Handl
Eberhard P. Deutsch Professor,
Public International Law,
Tulane University Law School

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