The Interface between International and National Laws
: The Role of National Water Laws and Institutions in Advancing the Implementation of and Compliance with International Obligations-A Nile Case Study

  • Musa Mohammed Abseno

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The purpose of this research is to develop a coherent analytical framework for assessing the nexus between international and national law - based on the proposed case study for the implementation of the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) in Ethiopia and Uganda; and in order to draw lessons for other basins.

    Chapter 1 introduces the scope of the research in general, and sets out the basic background on the subject in order to address the main research question: “How and to what extent, do national laws and institutions support or hinder the implementation of and compliance with international obligations?”

    Chapter 2 examines the scope and structures of basic substantive and procedural principles as well as basin-wide and subsidiary institutional structures incorporated in the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement, and seek to confirm the viability of implementation with the support of the national legal systems.

    Chapter 3 will assess the Ethiopian and Ugandan legal systems in order to determine the capacity of existing policies, laws, regulations and institutions in implementing the basic principles of international water law within the ambit of the CFA.

    Chapter 4 considers procedural rules, such as general obligations to cooperate on data and information. The extent of support for the implementation of procedural rules within the national laws of Ethiopia and Uganda will be considered in order to ascertain whether the applicable international law and national law provides an effective interface in relation to data and information exchange. In this regard, the principles of planned measures and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and audits are analysed in order to ascertain the extent of support and strength of the interface between international and national law.

    Chapter 5 will consider the framework of institutional structures in the context of the basin-wide framework; sub-basin structures and the national institutional structures. The chapter seeks to analyze the appropriate supportive linkages between international river basin organizations and national institutions.

    The findings of the analytical framework and the methodology employed will be analysed in chapter 6, in order to answer the key question: : “How and to what extent, do national laws and institutions support or hinder the implementation of and compliance with international obligations?” This chapter will provide insights from the examination of the CFA and national laws and institutions to advance a framework for reviewing the international-national water law interface within transboundary river basins.

    Chapter 7 recaps the analysis and findings of the thesis.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAlistair Rieu-Clarke (Supervisor) & Sarah Hendry (Supervisor)


    • Musa Abseno thesis

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