Establishing a legal framework for the use and protection of Iraq's equitable right to the Tigris and the Euphrates River Basin

  • Yadgar Kamal Ahmmad

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis investigates the mechanisms that might be used to determine the rights and obligations of Turkey, Syria and Iraq to govern the Tigris and Euphrates River Basin (TERB) in accordance with the international water law. In particular, it advocates for the protection of Iraq?s equitable rights through the establishment of a legal and institutional framework for joint use of the TERB. As a contribution towards addressing the issues of transboundary water law at the TERB level, this thesis explores the possibilities for potential cooperation between the three riparian States of the TERB through forming a legally binding treaty under the auspices of contemporary international water law. From this perspective, the thesis hypothesises that international law provides a solid basis on which the State of Iraq can rely on for achieving its legal entitlements to the equitable and reasonable use of the TERB. In this context, the thesis first examines international law in order to establish how it applies to the TERB. Next, the thesis considers how the legal positions of the riparian States can be determined under international law. When the aforesaid requirements are met, the thesis makes recommendations on how international water law can strengthen the legal framework for equitable joint use of the TERB. The thesis offers the methodology and analytical framework that deals with different relevant issues covered within the scope of the thesis. Later on, water uses within the TERB are discussed, followed by a literature review of publications on contemporary Middle East transboundary water conflict and cooperation. Afterwords, the thesis examines the applicable international law and international water law to the riparian States of the TERB. Finally, it explores the legal regime of the inter-State relationships in order to foster improved transboundary water management of the TERB.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SponsorsShell EP International Limited.
    SupervisorPatricia Wouters (Supervisor) & Alistair Rieu-Clarke (Supervisor)


    • Tigris and Euphrates River Basin (TERB)
    • Equitable and reasonable utilization
    • International water law
    • Iraq

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