Liability for Oil Pollution: Recent Developments
Environmental Liability, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 55-67, 2004
23 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2008 Last revised: 5 Nov 2009
Date Written: 2004
In this contribution the authors specifically focus on the EU-approach towards the compensation of oil pollution damage. They sketch that originally Europe relied largely on the existence of the international conventions and hence had no particular own initiatives in the domain of oil pollution. Later, especially after Europe was confronted with the major oil spill by the Amoco Cadiz in France in 1978, the Commission started to take several initiatives aiming in the first place at the prevention of oil spills. In a second phase Europe also realized that the compensation mechanism as it was designed by the international conventions can in some cases be largely insufficient to govern the consequences of major spills. More particularly after the more recent Erika (1999) and Prestige (2002) incidents the Commission came with various initiatives, not only to - again - increase maritime safety, but also aiming at awarding better compensation for victims of oil pollution. Interestingly the Commission on the one hand proposed to come up with an own European compensation system, given its opinion concerning the inadequacy of the international regime. At the same time the Commission lobbied with the organization competent to revise the international conventions (more particularly the International Maritime Organization - IMO) to provide higher amounts of compensation through the international regime. The end of the story so far is that Europe's activism in this domain may have triggered an important change in the international regime.
Keywords: Liability, Oil Pollution Damage, Marine Policy, Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation