International law developments on the sharing of Blue Nile waters: A fairness perspective

Zeray Yihdego, Alistair Rieu-Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The principle of fairness operates alongside lofty principles of international law, such as equity and justice. However, these concepts often face criticism for being too vague to shed any meaningful light on the practical interpretation and implementation international law within specific fields. By analysing the cooperation between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the Blue Nile, this paper seeks to examine such criticism. The chapter suggests that the concept of fairness does have value as a framework for analysing both commitment and compliance in international law; and that exploring specific contexts, such as legal developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and relevant (legal) instruments, helps give it an objective and normative meaning. The chapter will also show how the realisation and compliance with principles of (international) law such as the fairness principle require an input from other disciples-- in this chapter’s case the input from economics and hydrology have been used to try to objectively determine distributive justice as one crucial element of fairness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Nile Basin
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Transboundary Water Cooperation
EditorsZeray Yihdego, Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Ana Elisa Cascao
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781315160122
ISBN (Print)9781138064898 , 9780367376901
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameEarthscan Studies in Water Resource Management


  • fairness
  • Law of International Watercourses
  • Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)
  • Nile


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