Arbitration in Aviation Essay

2868 Words Apr 12th, 2013 12 Pages
Can Arbitration resolve International Aviation disputes?
Author: Mr. Vishwam Jindal
Co-Author: Mr. Gaurav Govinda
National Law University, Delhi
Phone No: +91-9958867718

On systematic classification, aviation disputes are either commercial or non-commercial. Whereas the former requires interpretation of bilateral arrangements, the latter concerns the Chicago convention. In any case, ADR methods are unique to aviation disputes. A careful reading of Article 84 and 85 of the Chicago convention portray the importance of arbitration while appealing a decision of the ICAO. Furthermore, the fact that commercial disputes are increasingly resorting to international arbitration cannot be disputed.
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In the event of a disagreement it provides for -

(1) formal consultations or
(2) if formal consultations fail, arbitration by a tribunal of three arbitrators.

If arbitrators are not appointed then either party may request the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to make such appointment. The approach embodied in the Agreement is one of negotiation and if that fails, arbitration.

Prior to 1970 aviation disputes were relatively few and far between. During the first 30 years of international aviation the aviation industry, both domestically and internationally, the sector was subsidized and regulated to such a degree that disputes rarely occurred. However, post that period, both the agreements increased and disputes engendered.
A historical landmark of legal ex post facto oddities is the 1946 Bermuda Air Transport agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. This agreement sets the standard for bilateral air transports agreements, although it contains little reference to arbitration and relies heaving on consultation. It may seem strange to modern practitioners that disputes concerning airfares and rates were subject to elaborate rules of negotiation between states and that contracts contained “best effort” provisions, which had the effect of

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