Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Christian Okeke

Second Advisor

Sompong Sucharitkul

Third Advisor

Ruth Astle


This dissertation examines the problems associated with the transboundary movement of electronic waste (e-waste), a term that refers to end-of-life or discarded electrical and electronic equipment. These problems occur mostly in developing countries where proper facilities and technology for environmentally sound management of e-waste are not sufficiently available. The Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal is the only existing international treaty governing the electronic waste trade. However, the Basel Convention, which employs the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure as a control system, exempts electronic assemblies destined for direct reuse, repair, refurbishment, or upgrading from its scope because trade in electronic materials for these stated purposes are not considered waste in some countries. This exception, although intended to protect and increase trade in second-hand products, also creates a loophole for illegal dumping, especially in developing countries where there is a high demand for these low-cost second-hand electronic products and materials. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an alternative approach invented and used in many European and other developed countries to ensure a proper and effective ewaste management. EPR refers to the Polluter-Pays principle. In the case of electronic products, producers are deemed pollution generators because of their ability to change product design and control the substances used. EPR, therefore, extends the producers’ responsibility beyond the factory to the waste management stage when the products reach the end of their useful life. This dissertation explores and assesses the EPR approach as an alternative solution to the potential setbacks that have resulted from the Basel Convention’s exception and considers the possibility of adopting EPR as a standard policy principle on a national level.