Recent Developments of the International Law Commission Regarding International Watercourses and their Implications for the Nile River

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Water International

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The International Law Commission of the United Nations has recently presented a set of Rules on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses to the General Assembly for approval. This article evaluates the potential implications of this new legal regime for the unusual but important case of the Nile River; which is dominated by the strength and control of its furthest downstream state, Egypt. The relationship between upstream and downstream riparian states is critical in determining the applicability of any new legal regime as is shown by the Nile River example. This article begins with a presentation and evaluation of the International Law Commissions new legal framework for international watercourses with primary focus on the General Principles. Following an evaluation of these general principles, the international situation of the Nile River is described, illuminating the need for new legal solutions to historically troublesome water conflicts. The article concludes with an evaluation of the potential implications of the International Law Commission's Rules on the Non-Navigational Uses of lnternational Watercourses for the Nile River and more broadly for international water law in general.

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