Yearbook of International Environmental Law - Vol. 7

By Günther Handl; Jutta Brunnée et al. | Go to book overview

Convention (Supplementary Provisions), 1970 (No. 133), which is in force for 25 states. Convention No. 133 sets out technical criteria for ships that help ensure not only proper sleeping and eating facilities for the crew, but also contains some provisions that reinforce safety precautions in ship construction.

While not appearing in the Supplementary Appendix to Convention No. 147, two other Conventions adopted by the Maritime Session of the Conference in 1996 (and supplemented by Recommendations) can also be seen as having a tangential relationship to safety in shipping. The Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996 (No. 179) is aimed in part, along with other ILO instruments on certificates of competency, at helping ensure that seafarers are properly certificated before being employed on board ship. The Labour Inspection (Seafarers) Convention, 1966 (No. 178) provides for a system of inspection of seafarers' working and living conditions. These include conditions relating to the standards of maintenance and cleanliness of shipboard living and working areas, manning, qualifications, prevention of occupational accidents, and so forth--inspection of which could reveal shortcomings in physical infrastructure and/or procedures. Since it is estimated that the human element contributes to around 85 percent of all maritime casualties, this and other international maritime labour standards could in turn contribute to preventing the sort of disasters that have led to pollution of the marine environment and coastal areas.

Anne M. Trebilcock


6. THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION (ILC)

(1) International Liability

The 48th ( 1996) session of the ILC was marked by a breakthrough development on the topic "International Liability for Injurious Consequences Arising Out of Acts Not Prohibited by International Law." A Working Group established by the Commission succeeded in drawing up a set of 22 draft articles with commentaries, which, although not formally adopted by the ILC itself, were transmitted to the General Assembly for comments. This achievement is welcome because, as noted in last year's report ( 6 YbIEL584 ( 1995)), the Commission has toiled so long on this project without achieving significant progress. It is also welcome as a fitting capstone of the work of the ILC's special rapporteur on the topic since 1985, Ambassador Julio Barboza, who is completing his service on the Commission. Ambassador Barboza has struggled mightily during his tenure to educate the Commission as to the nature of the topic but many members appear to have been either reluctant to tackle the subject or entirely mystified by it. It is thus a particular credit to the outgoing Commission--and especially to the members of the Working

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