Edited by Jason Chuah
Chapter 6: Sailing round the CLC. Environmental damage in EU maritime waters
The maritime waters of the European Union (EU) have sustained some devastating oil pollution incidents, such as the spills from the Erika in 1999 and the Prestige in 2002. The Erika spill gave its name to an extensive package of regulatory measures by the EU in the maritime field (the Erika packages I–III). However, compensation for oil pollution falls under three International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions: the International Convention of 27 November 1992 on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 CLC); the International Convention of 27 November 1992 on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 Fund); and the 2003 Supplementary Fund. These provide a uniform compensation regime for oil pollution which is intended to be the exclusive means of recourse for loss or damage from an oil pollution incident. The 19 years since the Erika spill have seen parallel avenues of compensation for oil pollution opening through EU legislation and through decisions of national courts in criminal cases. This chapter considers these developments and asks whether they threaten the integrity of the compensation regime under the IMO conventions.
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