Washington Law Review


This Note discusses a 1982 decision by the International Joint Commission (IJC) that effectively prohibits Seattle from raising the dam. It surveys the forty-year history leading to the decision, especially noting the role of the IJC. The Note compares the 1982 decision and the procedures used by the IJC in reaching its decision, particularly its examination of environmental concerns, with the application and operation of the "hard look" doctrine as it is used in environmental cases in the American judicial system. It suggests that applying the priniciples of the "hard look" doctrine is both appropriate and consistent with the IJC's obligations under international law. This Note recommends that the IJC continue to take a "hard look" at environmental concerns in the future, though this approach is not required by treaty. By doing so, the IJC will increase its usefulness and credibility as a forum for resolving future environmental disputes between Canada and the United States.

First Page