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Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage


Malika Gunasekera

This book deals with the liability conventions brought into existence by the International Maritime Organization and concentrates on the newly adopted instrument dealing with bunker oil pollution as an area of great concern for every stakeholder involved in shipping business. The work covers a wide spectrum ranging from the Convention itself to its scope of application, liable and aggrieved parties, jurisdiction, requirements of liability and admissibility of claims, defences and exoneration from liability. It addresses many areas of interest and of importance to international and national legal advisors, lawyers, law students and anyone interested in the relevant field such as shipowners, charterers, shipbrokers, ship personnel and associated contractors and sub-contractors.


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Chapter 6: Available Defences and Exoneration from Liability 190


190 The requirement of reasonableness depends on the nature of the oil spill and varies extensively from one type to another. Reasonableness is measured by way of taking into consideration; many aspects related to the spill, mainly, type of oil spilt, state of the environmental dynamics, sensitivity of the affected area and the behaviour of the climate. These conditions would influence the measures that the affected parties are expected to carry-out using scientific, technical and other types of operations. Measures which produce adverse end results would normally be considered improper, adding their failure as a negative approach to determine them as unreasonable in this context. In certain circumstances, pre- ventive measures are highly optimized in order to achieve accelerated results that end up in negative forms. Sometimes, the media is used in the wrong manner to spread awareness unnecessarily, creating chaos among the public that would bring unpopularity to the affected area as well as disrepute the shipping industry. Therefore, reasonableness that prevails in compensable claims must be associated with positive, effective and correct modes of application of preventive measures. Furthermore, the monetary character needs to be fair and reasonable, especially being proportionate to the actual measures applied and expenses incurred to- wards the whole process. 191 Chapter 6: Available Defences and Exoneration from Liability Since its origination in tort law pursuant to the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher, strict liability regime has undergone extensive recognitions of tortfeasor’s defences.819 Although, a breach of statutory duty is weighted heavily on grounds...

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