This thesis seems to be compendious in terms of the range of international law issues
it summoned up. The most notable of those issues are: international watercourse law,
state succession, human rights law and the law of treaties. Water is the most essential
and fought over resource in the World. Struggles over the allocation of water are
framed by legal regimes that encompass the body of established rules. But as values
change, novel norms and court rulings can affect already established legal regimes.
The history of the Nile River, a shared freshwater resource provides an ideal case
study to explore the struggle for control over water and how changes in legal regimes
affect water allocation. The Nile River has been a source of life and conflict between
the riparian countries in the Nile Basin for centuries.
The fundamental purpose of this study is to review the Nile legal regime in the light
of contemporary principles of shared watercourse law. This study provides an ideal
analysis of conflict of norms in the Nile legal regime and the outcome of such
conflict. It helps determine whether the contemporary principles of international
watercourse law have anyway modified the Nile legal regime. Another important
purpose of the study is to identify how principles of international watercourse law can
be embraced and applied by the Nile Basin States in a cooperative manner. A
comparative approach will be undertaken on the Nile legal regime and other regional
shared watercourses legal regime, notably, the SADC with the hope that light will be
shed on how Nile basin States can equitably utilize the Nile resources in a way that
embraces the international principle of cooperation. In essence, it will be interesting to
view how the developments in international watercourse law can affect the
development of a stable Nile legal regime.
The study starts by examining what constitutes the Nile legal regime. Then it devotes
a chapter to discuss the 1929 Nile Agreement which is considered to be the most
controversial Agreement. Chapter 3 discusses the fundamental principles of
international watercourse law. Chapter 4 discusses whether the principles of
international watercourse law can be accommodated by the Agreement by means of
interpreting it in the light of those principles. Finally, chapter 5 discusses the future of
the Nile legal regime. In this chapter, general propositions are made on the best way
forward for the Nile legal regime in a manner that embraces the principle of
cooperation in the equitable sharing of the Nile.