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Hosseini, Seyedahmad and Yadav, Prerna (2024) 'The Significance of Traditional Legal Framework in Regulating Groundwater Rights in Iran.' Law, Environment and Development Journal, 20 (1). 001-015.

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Throughout history, water has been a crucial resource for the survival and development of civilisations worldwide. The legal framework for water regulation has been shaped by a complex system of formal and informal norms, rules, and regulations that have evolved over time in response to changing social, political, economic, and religious contexts. Groundwater resources have become increasingly important globally, and it is necessary to study how access to this resource has been determined in this context. Iran provides a valuable case study for understanding the evolution of the legal framework governing groundwater rights due to its long history and dependence on groundwater through the Kariz system. This paper examines the role played by changes in Iran's religious and sociopolitical context in articulating groundwater rights, particularly the right to access groundwater, from the Sassanid Empire (224 CE) to the 1906 Iranian Constitution, covering a period of approximately 1700 years. Schlager & Ostrom's framework for common pool resources is used to analyse this evolution in groundwater rights. Our analysis shows that though groundwater rights have primarily been treated as private rights, the changing socio-political and religious context through the centuries has helped with its regulation and management as a common pool resource. The study does not explore the process of management and the actors responsible for it which needs further elaboration to understand groundwater regulation.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Law, Environment and Development Centre
ISSN: 17465893
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2024 11:38

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