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ABC Corporation: Legal Operations

Details: As a continuation of ABC Corporation's offshore growth, a specialty chemical plan was recently constructed in the People's Republic of China. A production problem has arisen involving the specialty chemical plant. The plant uses individual components in the creation of the specialty chemicals, which produce extremely hazardous waste as a by-product. Although the company has abided by all the existing environmental laws in the People's Republic of China, several international groups have brought actions in the ICJ for enforcement of international environmental regulations against the company. In an effort to resolve the matter and forestall the litigation, the company has been storing the hazardous material aboard a tanker for later disposal at an internationally approved site. Sometime over the last week, the tanker has disappeared from port along with its contents of hazardous waste. Several days ago, material very similar in composition to that which was being stored aboard the ship began washing up on the shores of the African nation, the Ivory Coast. The company has disavowed any knowledge of this action, but international groups are threatening further action in international court. An investigation has revealed that the Chinese government directed the tanker to leave port to protect its citizens from exposure to the hazardous waste on board.

Discuss the company's liability under international environmental regulations and international law. (Consider: The UN Conference on the Human Environment [convened in 1972, including Principle 21])
Discuss and compare the Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage of 1963 and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969.
Can the People's Republic of China be held liable for the damage caused by the waste?

Scenario:

ABC Corporation has grown into a successful multinational corporation with gross revenues of $35 billion in the last fiscal year. ABC has operating facilities in the European Union (EU), the United States, People's Republic of China (People's Republic), Asia, South America, and Africa. The company has experienced explosive growth over the last 3 years and has grown from a regional firm to a multinational conglomerate with many international projects currently under way. ABC is planning to construct additional specialty chemical and electronics part production facilities in offshore locations in the near future.

The original founders of the corporation have become the board of directors and primary shareholders for this corporation and have worked diligently to create a successful mix of products for the corporation including electronics, specialty chemicals, and Internet services in the United States, Asia, People's Republic of China, and Africa. Even though ABC has grown in complexity, the corporation now has a competent and capable corporate legal in-house counsel and management team in place to manage day-to-day operations although the board has insisted on guiding every facet of the business. The board members have taken this hands-on approach to the corporation because they built it.

Over the last several months, there have been concerns from the management team and in-house counsel about the board's excessive involvement in international negotiations. In an effort to quiet these concerns, the board has engaged you, a recognized expert in the field of international operations and laws, to act as its personal consultant on all projects the board members have undertaken globally. Your job is to advise the board members through memoranda and discussion about the legal risks and consequences they face in the various projects currently ongoing for ABC Corporation.

Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 1688 words with references.

//Before writing about any Company's liability under international environmental regulations and international law and discuss and compare the Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage & for Oil Pollution Damage, we have to first of all, summarize the scenario, in order to understand about the business and its scope. We should know in what kind of industry ABC is functioning. So, first of all, we will discuss about ABC Corporation under the heading of Introduction, for example: //

Introduction: ABC Corporation: Legal Operations

As a carry over of its off-shore growth program, ABC Corporation has recently built a specialty chemical plant, regarding which a production problem has arisen. Some individual components of the plant generate extremely perilous waste as a by product. Though the company has followed all the current environmental laws in the People's Republic of China, many international groups have taken actions against the company in the ICJ for the enforcement of international environmental regulations. The company has been storing the material on board in a tanker to dispose off the material later at an internationally approved site, in order to settle the matter and prevent further legal proceedings. Some time before, the tanker departed or rather disappeared from the port with its harmful contents, about which the company had no clue. Many days before, material very similar to that of the company which had disappeared, was found on the shores of Africa. The company has denied about owning the waste found at the Ivory Coast in Africa. As per an investigation, the Government of China directed the tanker to leave the port because it considered it as a threat to the environment and wanted to protect the citizens from the harmful waste. (Sharan, 2003)

//Above, we discussed about the ABC Corporation, which has lately built a specialty chemical plant. As per the directions, now we will talk about the Company's liability under international environmental regulations and international law in which we mainly consider the UN conference on the Human Environment. If you want, you can add more in this topic that you find worthier. I am just giving a brief overview.//

UN conference was organized in 1972 to increase awareness and to identify environmental problems which needed international cooperation. The results of the UNCHE were:

establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
greater official recognition by governments regarding protection and development of the living environments
growth in the environmental law in general and international environmental law in particular (Cook J.S. 2004)
The conference concluded with the declaration on the UNCHE, the Stockholm Declaration. The Declaration laid emphasis on:

Protection and enhancement of ...

Solution Summary

The response addresses the queries posted in 1688 words with references.

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