Also published in Karen Hulme (ed.), Law of the environment and armed conflict, 2017.
The principal purpose of this paper is to consider the extent to which a state incures responsibility under international law for acts of its armed forces which cause environmental damage, and to examine whether state responsibility provides a sufficiently effective means for enforcing the law regarding protection of the environment in armed conflict. The emphasis will be upon international armed conflicts, although there will also be a brief discussion of the position in internal armed conflicts and in certain types of United Nations operations. As a secondary concern, this paper will also consider the possibility of a state, or individuals or agencies acting on behalf of a state, being held liable in domestic law for damage to the environment caused by military operations.