Monday, March 11, 2013

Argentina: difficult for victims of climate change

Argentina not optimal for climate change law suits
In a series of short blog entries we have a first look on Latin American tort law systems in a view of possible climate change compensation litigation. The blog entries are mainly based on the Civil Codes of the respective state as few relevant legal literature, if any, is available on the internet.

In terms of Argentina, this country may not be best suited country to launch a climate change lawsuit.

Article 1.066 of the Argentinian Civil Code limits the scope of tort law to cases in which the written law has clearly stated that a certain behavior is illegal. Emitting CO2 is certainly not defined as illegal. Argentina might thus only be interesting for victims of climate change if they can prove somebody emitted other climate damaging gases for which there is an explicit ban under Argentinian law.

Article 1.081 provides for a joint and common liability of all persons participating to a crime or other illegal act. However, this clause is unlikely to be applied to a multitude of persons contributing by distinct activities to a damage without there being a “crime” or act defined as illegal by written law.

For these two reasons we believe that Argentina is likely to be a difficult country for victims of climate change. Chances to get compensation are comparatively low.

Relevant articles of the Civil Code of Argentina:

  • Art. 1.066. Ningún acto voluntario tendrá el carácter de ilícito, si no fuere expresamente prohibido por las leyes ordinarias, municipales o reglamentos de policía; y a ningún acto ilícito se le podrá aplicar pena o sanción de este código, si no hubiere una disposición de la ley que la hubiese impuesto.
  • Art. 1.067. No habrá acto ilícito punible para los efectos de este código, si no hubiese daño causado, u otro acto exterior que lo pueda causar, y sin que a sus agentes se les pueda imputar dolo, culpa o negligencia.
  • Art. 1.073. El delito puede ser un hecho negativo o de omisión, o un hecho positivo.
  • Art. 1.081. La obligación de reparar el daño causado por un delito pesa solidariamente sobre todos los que han participado en él como autores, consejeros o cómplices, aunque se trate de un hecho que no sea penado por el derecho criminal.
Update: A look at Brazil

Also see: High chances for Climate change law suit in Chile examined
Also see: Low chances in Uruguay
Also see: Low chances in Mexico
Also see: High chances in Venezuela
Also see: liability law in North and Central America: Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States

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