Frequently Asked Questions
What is the WaterLex’ Online Legal Database?The WaterLex Online Legal Database is a worldwide unique multi-stakeholder initiative pursuing the objective to gather all laws and policies at international and national level which are aligned and contribute to the realization of the human right to water and sanitation (as defined under international human rights law). The database provides also links to all original sources and case law references.
Note: This database should not be mixed up with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), database linked to FAO-Lex labeled ‘Waterlex’(link)
What is the purpose of the Online Database?In the framework of the United Nations, States recognized the Human Right to Water and Sanitation as legally binding (Cf. UN GA, Human Rights Council, and WHO Resolutions). Implementation of such new international commitment requires alignment and harmonization of national laws and policies. The HRWS Online Database therefore serves several purposes.
Firstly it can be used by Parliamentarians and Law Commissions who wish to see how other countries in the worlds already developed their legislation or policies in the field of the HRWS. Secondly, it can also be used by Civil Society Organizations and Politicians who wish to assert gaps and suggest amendments in legislation and policies. Thirdly and most commonly, it can be used for all legal practitioners as a worldwide reliable source of law, policies and case law related to water governance.
Who updates the files in the Database?Any legal form, public administration or NGO may submit updates for the Online Database. All supports will be acknowledged on the website.
The legal sources and excerpts submitted are reviewed by the Excerpts Reviewing Committee (ERC) consisting of the University of Essex – Human Rights Clinic, University of Dundee – UNESCO Center for Water Law, Swiss Federal Center for Comparative Law and WaterLex. This steering committee may be broaden in the years to come to additional academic institutions.
For the launch of the initiative at the 6th World Water Forum, the initial compilation of excerpts have been submitted by WaterLex, FAN-Global and WASH-United. This initial compilation is also available in printed format (Link).
Interest joining the project?All organizations wishing to join the project either as a content submitter or as a sponsor, are warmly invited to make their interest known via the contact form to Dr. Helene Boussard.
WaterLex.org Online Legal Database