Challenges of Representation and Distribution
Edited by Jenny Steele and Willem H. van Boom
Chapter 11: The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds and Dealing with the Masses
Willem Oosterveen 1. INTRODUCTION The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) are three intergovernmental organisations established by states (the 1971 Fund, the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund) that provide compensation to victims of oil pollution damage caused by spills of persistent oil from tankers. This chapter sets out the experience of the IOPC Funds over the years in dealing with mass claims for damage, suffered as a result of major oil spill incidents in connection with the carriage of persistent oil by sea. A number of complications, relevant to the theme of dealing with the masses, which have occurred or may occur in the context of the activities of the IOPC Funds are outlined. These potentially endanger the proper functioning of the international convention regime and, as a result, the support for the regime by the international community may decrease. Issues connected with the subject of dealing with the masses are therefore important to the IOPC Funds. Because of the particular role and position of the IOPC Funds in the context of large scale oil pollution incidents, they are involved in the relevant processes from various angles. They are involved on the practical side, since the IOPC Funds finance and manage all experts, surveyors and administrative staff dealing with an incident from their London headquarters and are also closely involved in their work on a daily basis through the Funds’ claims managers and claims administrators. They also deal with the judicial/theoretical perspective, since they are intergovernmental organisations which...