AN APPRAISAL OF LIABILITY REGIME FOR REDRESS AND COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS IN NIGERIA


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE - GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Research
1.2       Statement of Research Problem
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Aim and Objectives of the Research
1.5       Scope of the Research
1.6       Research Methodology
1.7       Justification of the Research
1.8       Literature Review
1.9       Organization Layout

CHAPTER TWO - CONCEPTUAL DISCOURSE OF KEY TERMS
2.1       Nature of Aviation
2.2       Aircraft Accident
2.3       Accident Investigation
2.4       Victims of Aircraft Accidents
2.5       Nature of Compensations

CHAPTER THREE - LEGAL REGIMES FOR LIABILITY IN AIRCRAFT ACCIDENTS IN NIGERIA
3.1    International, Regional and Sub-regional Legal frame works
3.2       Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules, Relating to International Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention) 1999
3.3    Liability of the Civil Aviation Authority
3.4       Liability of the Carriers in Tort
3.5       Liability in Contract
3.6       Liability in Insurance
3.7       Issues and Challenges on the Liability of the Carriers
3.8       Liability in the State Aircraft and Gratuitous Air Carriage

CHAPTER FOUR - LEGAL REGIMES ON COMPENSATION FOR AIRCRAFT IN NIGERIA
4.1       Introduction
4.2       Nature of Compensation on Aircraft Accident Victims
4.2.1    Passenger Victims
4.2.2    Ground Victims
4.2.3    Crew Member
4.3       Assessment of the Quantum of compensation
4.3.1    Dead Victim
4.3.2    Fatal Injury and Non-Fatal Injury
4.3.3    Loss of Property
4.3.4    Psychological or Emotional Distress
4.4       Prompt Payment of Compensation

CHAPTER FIVE - CONCLUSION, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Conclusion
5.2       Findings
5.3    Recommendations
Bibliography




ABSTRACT

This reach work “entitled the liability Regime for Redress and Compensation for victims of aircraft Accidents in Nigeria.” Revealed that aircraft accident is a recurrent decimal world over, and in particular, plane crashes result in a number of casualties, affecting both passengers and other non-passenger victims, hence the problems of who is a victim, when does a passenger embark or disembark an aircraft for the purpose of been compensated within the legal regime. The research work analysed relevant provisions of the convention for the unification of certain Rules, relating to international carriage by Air, known as Montreal Convention 1999, the Civil Aviation Act of Nigeria 2006 and various judicial authorities within and from outside the jurisdiction. The relevancy and the legal efficacy of the report of the Accident investigation report is equally an existing problem affecting the compensation regime. The research work argued for a rationality of compensating victims in the analyses of the relevant provisions dealing with compensation of aircraft accident in Nigeria. The research work reveals that only passenger victims are covered by the law for the purpose of compensation while other categories of victims are not known to law for compensation, particularly under the Montreal Convention 1999 which gave birth to the Civil Aviation Act 2006. Similarly, it also reveals that compensation status of passengers in a private jet and state aircrafts are not statutorily defined as the law completely silent on the liability of private aircrafts owners in Nigeria. The main objective of the research work using doctrinal approach is to appraise and analyse the existing legal frame works on the liability and compensation of passengers and non-passenger victims with the view of providing more pragmatic and flexible legal regime that encompass all categories of victims. Consequently, the research work among others finds that the current legal regime did not sufficiently cover all categories of victims in terms of compensation. It therefore recommends among others that Articles 17, 21, 28, 29, 30 of the Montreal Convention 1999 and section 48, 49 and 39 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 be amended accordingly. The research work also recommend that the existing legal regimes required legislative overhauling to widen the present scope of the liability regime to cover more classes of victims and explicitly analyse key terms such as the words embarking and disembarking the aircraft and put an end to the constantly conflicting judicial interpretations of such terms. It also finds that the report of the Accident investigation report is rendered worthless by section 29 of the 2006 Act and that the desire of some victims to pursue higher compensation is rendered ineffective.




CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1             Background to the Research

As the world’s fleet of commercial aircraft continues to grow and global airlines capacity steadily on the increase, Nigerian operators and the passengers are facing commercial conflicts emanating from injuries suffered by victims of air calamities as a result of loss of lives, properties or bodily and psychological injuries1. Aviation has become an integral part of the social economic life of nations. Nigeria by its size, population and position in the continent of Africa is naturally and strategically positioned as a natural hub in the West Africa sub region thereby constituting a market that would ensure and support sustained growth in air transportation2.

Although, aviation is a known and understood transport system, notwithstanding the usual occurrence of aircraft accident the extent of patronizing air transportation is on increase globally, due to the readiness of individuals and business class to attend to their business and personal needs with dispatch anywhere in the world. When such disaster occurs, relations of the passengers or the victims themselves are legally entitled to some quantum of compensation for the loss of their loved ones and loss of their Luggage respectively. It is therefore not certain whether all relations of such victims could be paid the same amount as compensation as a matter of course or on legal demand by way of civil litigation irrespective of their positions. It is also not settled and not clears whether a Nigerian victim entitles to the same amount of compensation like a victim whose plane crashed in the territory of the United State of America3. The question becomes doubly important in determining whether victims or their relations have a cause of action either in tort, contract or insurance to demand for higher compensation in addition to what is statutorily provided......


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