Decision ID: 001387
In July 2002 the 1971 Administrative Council noted that in November 2001 two claimants had taken legal actions against the shipowner/insurer and had requested the Court to notify the 1971 Fund in accordance with Article 7.6 of the 1971 Fund Convention. It was noted that having been notified in February 2002 the Fund had instructed lawyers in Estonia to represent the Fund in the proceedings. The Council noted that in the context of the legal proceedings the question had arisen as to whether the 1969 Civil Liability Convention and the 1971 Fund Convention had been correctly implemented into Estonian national law. The Council noted that in the Director’s view, it appeared that the procedure for ratification of international treaties laid down in the Estonian Constitution had not been observed and that it was therefore possible that the Conventions would not be recognised by the Estonian courts as forming part of Estonian law, although it could not be ruled out that the courts might find that the Conventions were nevertheless applicable. The Council noted that in the Director’s view, the Fund should not normally not take a formalistic approach to dealing with claims, but since the issue had been raised by the shipowner/insurer in the proceedings, the courts might hold that claims against the shipowner/insurer could not be pursued under the Conventions, which would raise the question as to the basis of the 1971 Fund’s obligation to pay compensation. In the light of the importance of the issue, the Administrative Council decided to postpone its consideration of it to its next session.