RETROSPECTIVE LIABILITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION
AbstractCan governments issue cleanup orders, based on environmental statutes, requiring polluters to clean up contamination they caused before the statutes were passed? This article argues that such orders are retrospective, not retroactive, in operation and may be valid in some cases It analyses the judicial presumption against retrospectivity, which does not always apply and which can be overcome by specific statutory language. Exceptions to the presumption are examined in detail Finally, the article explores the possibility of challenges to such orders based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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