Decision ID: 001971
In October 2006 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee recalled that as part of the discovery procedure in connection with the legal action by the Spanish State against the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) before the Federal Court of first instance in New York, ABS had requested the production by the Spanish State of all documents and material forming part of the file of the Criminal Court in Corcubión (Spain) investigating the cause of the incident, as well as all the documents and material reviewed by the Spanish Permanent Commission for the Investigation of Maritime Accidents. It was recalled that the Spanish State had responded, asserting that the requested documents and material were protected from disclosure by privilege under Spanish procedural law, that the New York Court had denied the Spanish State’s assertion of privilege and ordered the production of the documents and material and that the Spanish State had appealed against the decision. The Committee further recalled that the Spanish State had submitted a petition to the Court in Corcubión maintaining that the documents and material could not be provided to ABS and that the Court in Corcubión had decided that these documents and material were privileged to the parties who had joined in the criminal proceedings and should therefore not be made available to ABS. It was noted that in a decision rendered in August 2006 the New York Court had rejected the appeal by the Spanish State that the documents and material were privileged, considering that both parties to the proceedings should have access to the same material and that failure by the Spanish State to make them available to ABS would put ABS at an unfair disadvantage affecting its right of defence. It was noted that the Spanish State had submitted a request to the Court in Corcubión for authorisation to disclose the documents and material to ABS and that in a decision rendered in September 2006 that Court had authorised the disclosure of all documentation relevant to the case to the Court in New York.