A Cross-Country Investigation of International Vessel-Source Legislation and Oil Pollution Compliance Practices: The Case of Nigeria and the United States.

Eben, Rachael Arreh (2016) A Cross-Country Investigation of International Vessel-Source Legislation and Oil Pollution Compliance Practices: The Case of Nigeria and the United States. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Environmental issues, the frequency of oil accidents, liability and compensation, and issues related to the efficacy of oil legislation proliferate oil discourse. In addition, there is good amount of literature on the use of deterrence in the criminal justice system. However, literature on the connection between compliance and deterrence practices in the oil transportation industry is patchy, especially about less-developed economies. Where an attempt is made to assess compliance practices in the oil industry, there is a general drift towards bunching compliance experiences along regional lines or regional players; (Asian countries, EU countries), or coastal states, port states and flag states. Another tendency is to evaluate the activities in a few developed economies (United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Germany or France) and transpose that as representation of what prevails in all other developed countries or other economies. This study takes a holistic approach by synthesizing the environmental, regulatory, and socio-economic issues related to compliance with vessel-source legislation in just two specific jurisdictions without getting trapped by the bunching idea.
Therefore, the focus of this research has been to investigate the compliance practices of two economies- Nigeria and the United States- against the backdrop of existing deterrent international and domestic vessel- source legislation. The enforcement corridor by stakeholders leaves grounds for flaunting of some relevant provisions, thus necessitating an investigation into the compliance practices of both economies in order to seek ways to deter those rogue practices. Additionally the study aims to design a framework that would enable decision-makers within the studied jurisdictions to frame their compliance decisions based on relevant environmental, regulatory, and socio- economic indicators that are targeted at reducing oil pollution from malfeasors.
To this end, using a combination of black-letter approach, socio-legal methodology, comparative analysis, and questionnaires, the project aims to synthesize these methods with case laws and case studies, and apply the framework designed to the two economies. Evidently at the level of international oil tanker transportation, there is noticeable tightening of control and more reasonable compliance. However, domestic compliance practices in both the developed and less-developed economies could do better. On the whole, the international regimes have succeeded to deter some rogue behavior and foster compliance with some aspects of the trade, but would require severity and certainty of regulatory adjustments to attain a spill- free vessel-tanker trade that prevents pollution.

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