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Civil and criminal liability as mechanisms for the prevention of oil marine pollution : the Erika case

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2011
JournalReview of European Community and International Environmental Law
Journal number3
Volume20
Number of pages12
Pages313-324
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

An efficient international system for the prevention of oil marine pollution is dependent upon the provision of effective deterrence mechanisms. Effective and adequately severe sanctions should be part of this system. Growing concerns regarding accidents causing extensive oil marine pollution have led to criticism regarding the lack of a deterrence effect for the international civil liability regime. French criminal courts in the Erika case have interpreted the international civil and criminal liability regimes in a radical, though inspiring, way. This article analyzes the approach of the French courts with regard to criminal liability for oil marine pollution, channelling of civil liability and claims for environmental damage per se. It concludes by identifying the impact of these judgments on the future of the international liability regimes for oil pollution damage, especially considering their role as mechanisms for the prevention of oil marine pollution