|The consequences of the sinking of the M/S Erika in European waters: Towards a total loss for international shipping law?|
Somers, E.; Gonsaeles, G. (2010). The consequences of the sinking of the M/S Erika in European waters: Towards a total loss for international shipping law? J. Marit. Law Commer. 41(1): 57-83
In: Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce. Jefferson Law Book Co.: Cincinnati. ISSN 0022-2410, more
International law; Oil spills; Marine
It is to be noted that the current evolution of entwining environmental law and shipping law may lead to undesirable consequences. Since the latter follows specific patterns, the application in se of general environmental law – developed from a terrestrial point of view – to the shipping industry is to be avoided. Specific considerations taking into account the characteristics of shipping are of primordial importance. This principle is for the greater part followed in the establishment of international environmental law, where particular legislation adapted to the marine environment and the shipping industry often follows the adoption of environmental rules of a more general nature. The danger lies in the current evolution of applying general environmental regulations to particular shipping cases. As far as the implementation of international regulations in the field of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment into European legislation is involved, especially the influence of European environmental law on the shipping industry is to be closely watched. The cross-border impact of environmental law on the shipping industry has become stunningly clear in the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (hereinafter referred to as ‘European Court of Justice’ or ‘ECJ’) in Case C-188/07 Commune de Mesquer v Total France SA and Total International Ltd.