“State and Enterprise Responsibility for Civil and Environmental Risks”
By Harald Koch, Berlin/Hamburg
What has the Agent Orange disaster of the 1960s in Vietnam left behind, other than the terrible health effects suffered by innocents and persistent ecological damages?
Are there lessons to be learned from the way the legal system handles such man-made disasters, from the way relief was sought and granted to victims in Vietnam, the US, and other countries? Given that many environmental disasters today have international repercussions, is transborder litigation the means to achieve “global justice”? And how can we ensure the accountability of corporations and government institutions that are responsible for wide-spread health injuries and environmental damages?
Within this framework, three issues were addressed during a conference on Agent Orange organized by the RCC in Tutzing last year; they will be illustrated here using case studies involving international environmental and human rights damages.