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IAEA Hosts its Ninth Workshop for Diplomats on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

IAEA Hosts its Ninth Workshop for Diplomats on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage

Diplomats from IAEA Member States  participated in the Ninth Workshop on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (Photo:IAEA)

For almost a decade, the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs has offered officials of Permanent Missions in Vienna and other European capitals workshops on civil liability for nuclear damage, the latest of which was held on 9 September 2022, at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna.  

Designed to acquaint the attendees with the principles of civil liability for nuclear damage and the nuclear liability instruments adopted under IAEA auspices, this workshop ensured that all participating delegates were informed about this field of nuclear law. Further, the event aimed at highlighting the importance of having in place, internationally and nationally, effective and coherent nuclear liability mechanisms and the benefits of joining the relevant instruments. 

Over the years, the IAEA General Conference, in its Resolution on Nuclear and Radiation Safety, has repeatedly “encourage[d] Member States to work towards establishing a global nuclear liability regime and, as appropriate, to give due consideration to the possibility of joining the international nuclear liability instruments”, said Peri Lynne Johnson, IAEA Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs.

During the workshop, IAEA legal officers together with the Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, were joined by experts from the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX), the advisory body to the Director General, to give presentations and participate in the discussions. Through three sessions, the experts provided an overview of the principles and the international legal instruments and the global nuclear liability regime, as well as the work of INLEX. Further, a presentation on the IAEA Legislative Assistance Programme, helped delegates learn about the wide range of IAEA assistance activities available to Member States, upon request.

The workshop concluded with a question and answer session led by Anthony Wetherall, IAEA Legislative Assistance Programme Lead in the Office of Legal Affairs and Ben McRae Acting INLEX Chair, to address participant questions on the role of the IAEA related to the international legal instruments on civil liability for nuclear damage.

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