The Principle Polluter- Pays and the Civil Liability Related to the Environment

Author:Livia Mocanu
Position:Valahia University of Târgoviste, Faculty of Juridical, Social and Political Sciences
The Principle Polluter– Pays and the Civil Liability Related to the
Livia Mocanu
Valahia University of Târgovişte,
Faculty of Juridical, Social and Political Sciences
Abstract: The anal ysis of the liability resulting from the effects on the environment involves also
the reference to the principle t he polluter – pays. This principle imposes to the operators the cost of
the preventive measures and action against the pollution resulting from their activities
independently of any culpa. It laid the foundation for a special liability regime instituted at t he
communitarian level by Directive no. 2004/35/CE regarding the environment liability in order to
prevent and repair ecologic damages, transposed into the Romanian law by G.U.O. no. 68/2007
concerning the environment liability with reference to the prevention and repair of the prejudices
on the en vironment. The present study h as as object the analysis of the foundations of this special
regime and complex of engaging and realizing the operato r “liability”, as well as the extent to
which this liability system represents a corollary of the principle polluter – pays.
Keywords: polluter, responsibility, environment.
1. Introduction
The classical mechanism of civil responsibility forces the author of an illegal fact to repair its
damageable consequences, as long as there is a causative relation between generating factor and
prejudice. The responsibility based on fault represents the general principle of delictual civil
responsibility in regulation art. 998-999 Civ. C.
The social realities, the increase of danger for anonymous accidents, with serious and irreducible
effects, determined a reformation of civil responsibility, emphasizing fault objectivation.1 A new
consolidation of delictual civil responsibility justifies the engagement of the obligation to repair
the damage, considering first of all the victim’s interest to re-establish the previous situation by
repairing the damage suffered.
The objectivation of responsibility law corresponds to the transition from fault responsibility to
responsibility aiming, before anything, at repairing the damage, the fault being presumed or in the
absence of any mistake.2 This phenomenon is not only specific for environmental law, it can be
observed in responsibility law in general.
1 For details, on the objective consolidation of d elictual civil responsibility in the c ontemporary period see,
Lacrima Rodica Boilă, Răspunderea civilă delictuală obiectivă, C.H. Beck Publishing House, Bucharest,
2008, p. 37-96.
2 Agathe Van Lang, Droit de l'environnement, T hémis droit, Paris, 2002, p. 270.

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