On 17 April, the text of a legislative proposal concerning the liability of companies or individuals for environmental damage was discussed during a committee meeting of the French senate. The proposal aims to enshrine in law the conclusions of last year’s ruling from the Court of Cassation, the highest court in France, which called for a strict application of the “polluter pays” principle. The proposal would strengthen national legislation implementing Directive 2004/35 on environmental liability by stressing that polluters should be liable for any type of damage they cause, regardless of whether they are at fault or of the magnitude of the incident. The current legislation only covers cases of “significant” environmental damage.
The press release of the Senate can be accessed via the following link (only available in French): http://www.senat.fr/presse/cp20130418.html