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Content >> Ms Kuang Shilin attended The Supreme Court’s Seminar on the Judicial Interpretation in respect of Ship Oil Pollution On the 24th – 25th of June 2010.

The Supreme Court’s Seminar on the Judicial Interpretation in respect of Ship Oil Pollution


On the 24th – 25th of June 2010 the Supreme People’s Court held a seminar in Qingdao, discussing the second draft of the Judicial Interpretation in respect of ship oil pollution. This draft is the amendment to their first draft which was first produced in February and had been circulated for consultation and discussion among academic sectors before the seminar.


Mr. Liu Guixiang, the Chief of the No.4 Civil Court of the Supreme People’s Court, Mr. Liu Shoujie, the Presiding Judge of the No. 4 Civil Court, and Mr. Yu Xiaohan, Assistant Judge of the No. 4 Civil Court, hosted the seminar. The other 23 invited attendees include senior officers from the NPC (National People’s Congress) Environment and Resource Standing Committee, State Council Legislation Department, Ministry of Transportation, China MSA, Ministry of Environment, National Oceanic Bureau and Fishery Bureau, scholars from Dalian and Shanghai Maritime University, representatives from three major shipping companies (Cosco, China Shipping and China National Foreign Trade Transportation Co.), CPI, lawyers of three major maritime law firms and CMS.


CMS’s view and comments have been sought by the Supreme Court ever since the formation of their first draft. Ms Kuang Shilin was invited for this seminar and delivered our comments on the provisions of the Judicial Interpretation.


In the seminar, different views and opinions were brought forward for open discussions. Issues appearing to be in diverged opinions are primarily as follow:


1.       Whether the international conventions that China has acceded to, including 1992 CLC and 2001 Bunker Convention, shall apply to domestic trading vessels?

2.       In case of oil spill arising from ship collision, it is understood that the international conventions of 1992 CLC and 2001 Bunker Convention avail the claimants of the right to claim for compensation for pollution damage against the  owners of the spilling vessel without proving fault. However, does this strict liability regime prescribed by the conventions deprive the claimants of their right to claim against the other non-spilling vessel in tort under the domestic laws? If no, shall the non-spilling vessel’s liability be joint and several under its limitation?

3.       Some people opined that 2001 Bunker Convention provided an independent limitation fund for pollution damage in the same amount as that prescribed under China Maritime Code which refers to the LLMC 1976. It gave rise to arguments over the meeting.

4.       As far as admissible claims for pollution damage are concerned, it is argued that whether the personal injury and death is compensable under the conventions. More over, some people challenge that the damage caused by the impairment of the environment shall not be limited to loss of profit and the costs of reinstatement measures, but shall also include damage to the living resources and marine life.


The Supreme People’s Court as said will review all the comment rendered in the seminar, and is going to finalize and publish the Judicial Interpretation before the end of this year.




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