The case deals with the issue of environmental dumping in the poorer nations by more advanced nations. The trigger for the case is the sending back of the French naval ship Clemenceau from Indian coasts on the grounds that it contained prohibited environmentally hazardous materials like asbestos. The issue raised intense debates both in the public domain and the legal courts. Environmentalists, who brought the news in the public domain, sought legal intervention and argued in the public media. While the ship was sent back to France following the decision by France's highest administrative court, it raised questions about the entire ship breaking business. Alang, where the ship was initially supposed to be broken down, had seen an increase in business owing to the relatively cheap labour and less stringent environmental legislations compared to the established ship breaking centres in Europe and China. As poorer countries with even less regulated ship breaking centres, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan entered the fray, Alang had seen a decline in business. Ship breaking in Alang contributes to employment and the sending away of Clemenceau was seen by many supporters of ship breaking at Alang as lost opportunity for reviving the stagnating business at Alang. Others, however, saw it as an opportunity for Alang to improve environmental compliance and to introduce new technologies in ship breaking so that it can be sustainable in the long run. The case presents these different perspectives and tries to demonstrate the decision dilemma faced by a policy maker or regulator.
Public Administration, Environmental Legislation, Shipbreaking
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