Volume 33 (2008)

Volume 33 (2008) / Issue 2

Pietro Manzini, Anna Masutti, 'An international civil liability regime for the Galileo services: A proposal' (2008) 33 Air and Space Law, Issue 2, pp. 114–131


According to several studies, the Galileo system is expected to be extremely widespread on a global level. It represents an evolution in and a substantial improvement of the satellite radionavigation systems currently existing. Its very nature will make it significant in various economic sectors and in sectors of substantial public interest.

Considering Galileo’s potential global scope, the risk of loss is significant and may even be catastrophic. The absence of an international uniform law causes a number of problems. Such problems include the risks of multiple applicable jurisdictions, the difficulty and costs of identifying the responsible party, uncertainty relating to the notion of reimbursable loss, the introduction of effective loss recovery mechanisms, and difficulties in coordinating with existing convention regimes.

Analysis of the convention scenario concerning uniform civil liability rules highlighted a set of well consolidated approaches in practice on an international level. Our proposal is to make a broad reference to these approaches when devising a specific regime for civil liability for loss deriving from Galileo services. In our opinion, the above mentioned regime should include: the strict liability rule; liability channelling; limit to liability; compulsory insurance for at least the limit of liability; the provision for supplementary compensation to guarantee satisfactory reimbursement of losses; and the criteria for identifying the applicable jurisdiction.

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ISSN: 0927-3379
ID: AILA2008010