Access to environmental information in international law: the significance of the MOX Plant case (Ireland v. United Kingdom).
Ireland and the United Kingdom are since 1993 in conflict about a Mox plant at Sellafield, on the Irish Sea. This plant is designed to recycle the plutonium which is produced during the reprocessing of nuclear fuel to reclaim the uranium contained in it. Ireland has tried to contest the British decision to build and operate the Mox plant through all the legal means available. An important request of Ireland was to be more and better informed in order to better contribute to the protection of the marine environment of the Irish Sea. Ireland and the United Kingdom are Member of two important treaties addressing the issue of environmental information: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention). Ireland has sought a remedy through the procedures of dispute settlement instituted by those two treaties. The Mox Plant Case is therefore very complex, each of these procedures being conducted within the textual confines of the treaties that govern them.
In July 2003 the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the OSPAR Convention rejected Ireland’