Indian civil nuclear liability law (CNLD Act): an adventurism or exceptionalism in international legal discourse.
Ram Mohan, M. P.
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International law relating to nuclear liability has been on a continuous development over the last five decades. On the specific issHiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in Japanue of transboundary nuclear liability law and its applicability, the Chernobyl accident in 1986 steered the international community to address many of the gaps and inconsistencies. The 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan again highlighted the importance of a robust liability regime, both domestically and internationally. Though the effectiveness of these initiatives is still questionable on the issues of universal applicability, quantum of compensation and exceptions, however, countries accepted the basic founding principles as the foundation of the nuclear liability law. India, an established nuclear power country, while re-engaging with world nuclear community subsequent to the 2005 India–United States Nuclear Cooperation, enacted its own nuclear liability law. The Civil Nuclear Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010 which was passed after extensive discussion in the Parliament interestingly has both critiques and admirers. Many in India maintain that its liability law reflects Indian public interest and should be seen as a step toward modernizing the nuclear legal regime. Internationally, many argue that the law deviates from the established principles. The chapter undertakes historical evaluation of the development of hazardous liability law in India through tort jurisprudence, maps the civil nuclear liability law making process both at international level and in India and how Indian law stands today, and concludes with the observation that Indian law is an exceptional law.
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