Dr Brian Dicks (retired)
Paper presented at the AMURE seminar:"Ecological damage caused by oil spills: economic assessment and compensation", 18th-19th May 2006, Institut océanographique, Paris
Compensation for clean up costs and damages caused by oil spills from tankers is governed in many maritime nations by two International Conventions, the Civil Liability Convention (CLC) and the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage (FC). These Conventions came into force in the early 1970s. In their earliest versions compensation for environmental damage was not specifically considered - the primary purpose was to provide compensation only for reasonable costs of clean up and proven economic loss. The Conventions have been revised several times during the last twenty years, and in the latest version (CLC and FC 1992) their scope with regard to environmental damage has been clarified. This has taken the form of admitting costs of reasonable reinstatement measures and post-spill studies, with the focus on identifying and then undertaking measures which enhance recovery of the damaged area. The Conventions exclude valuations of environmental damage calculated by theoretical and formulaic methods. The scope of the Conventions with respect to environmental damage is reviewed and examples are given of what might constitute reasonable reinstatement measures and post-spill studies.