Bill to Implement Provisions of Montreal Carriage by Air Convention Passed in the Senate


The Senate today (Jan. 6) passed the Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention) Act 2009, thereby implementing the provisions of the Convention for the unification of certain rules for international carriage by air signed in Montreal, Canada on May 28, 1999.
Leader of Government business in the Senate and Minister of Justice, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, explained that the Montreal Convention replaces the Warsaw Convention, and serves to restore the necessary uniformity in the legal rules, which were fragmented and lacked harmonisation in application to different states.
“The Montreal Convention seeks to simplify and modernise the documentation relating to the international carriage of persons, baggage and cargo. It also seeks to provide a uniform system of liability in respect of damage sustained in the case of death or bodily injury of a passenger, or destruction, loss or damage to baggage or cargo,” Senator Lightbourne said.
The Bill also provides for the making of advance payments in order to meet the immediate economic needs of victims and their families in the event of an aircraft accident; widen the jurisdictions in which action may be brought for the recovery of damages in respect of a passenger to include the place of principal and permanent residence of the passenger; and place an obligation on state parties to the Convention, to require their air carriers to maintain adequate insurance to cover liability under the Convention.
Opposition Senator, Mark Golding, in supporting the Bill, noted that it is “non controversial” and simply seeks to bring into domestic law, a Convention which governs international carriage by air. “It is a Convention, which seeks to balance the interest of consumers, namely travellers, and the airline industry around the world,” Senator Golding said.
The Carriage by Air (Montreal Convention) Act, 2009 will repeal the Carriage by Air Act of 1964 and the Carriage by Air Act 1932 of the United Kingdom.

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