Reference : The long empty canyon: A study of the old/new legal problems of the Nile basin
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Law / European Law
The long empty canyon: A study of the old/new legal problems of the Nile basin
Al Hajjaji, Shams Al Din mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Law Research Unit >]
Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Science
[en] Nile Basin ; Egypt ; No Harm Principle
[en] The Nile River Basin witnesses a long history of tension and negotiation among riparian states. There are two legal frameworks govern the Nile Basin. Firstly, the private legal framework reflected in legal history on the Nile. The most legal active period among Nile Basin states was the period between 1890th and 1930th. The legal solutions to the Nile Basin problems came to an end with the end of the colonization in Africa, especially the Nile riparian states. During this period, the tension among liberal states took a different shape. Harmon and Nyerere doctrine was introduced among the riparian states. This led to the refutation of most of the private legal framework from most of the independent states. Thus, riparian states started to explore new legal ground to regulate their relationship. On the other hand, the public legal framework represented in the work of the International Law Association, which started with Helsinki rules in 1966, and the 1997 UN Convention. Many scholars argue that the legal solution is the best one for the Nile question, based on the previous frameworks. However, this note argued that the international legal framework governing the international rivers generally and the Nile specifically cannot offer a solution to the disputes over the water of the Nile. This note discusses both the legal frameworks of the Nile on one hand. On the other hand, it highlights the points of indeterminacy of both frameworks to solve the Nile dilemma. It argues that the solutions of the present and future disputes through legal tools are not enough. This note goes beyond the most proposed recommendation to form a comprehensive treaty as the solution to the riparian problems. It asserts that the law is not a tool to end the states tension, rather than it is a tool to persevere good faith and prevent future dispute. A main role of the extra-legal solutions must be played. It based its argument on the substantive and formulate dilemma in the previous frameworks.

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