Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Court annuls Council decision concerning transfer of personal data to U.S. authorities

Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States passed legislation providing that air carriers operating flights to, from or across United States territory have to provide the United States authorities with electronic access to the data contained in their reservation and departure control systems, called ‘Passenger Name Records’ (PNR). Following negotiations with U.S. authorities the Commission adopted, on 14 May 2004, a decision (the decision on adequacy) finding that the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ensures an adequate level of protection for PNR data transferred from the Community. On 17 May 2004, the Council adopted a decision approving the conclusion of an agreement between the European Community and the United States on the processing and transfer of PNR data by air carriers. The Court has now annulled both decisions. (Press relase 46/06 of European Court of Justice,

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

House of Lords dismissed DVT Group Action

Claimants (or their relatives) had been passengers on international flights with the defendant carriers. In each case a DVT had resulted in serious injury or death. It was assumed that DVT was caused by the flight, defendants had known about the rsik of DVT and failed to warn of such rsik or advise passengers how to avoid or minimize it. The House of Lords unanimously found that, where a passenger suffered DVT on a flight during which nothing out of the ordinary had occurred, this did not amount to an accident capable of founding recovery under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention as the term "accident" denoted an event or occurrence having a particular quality or characteristic. For the purposes of Article 17, it was the cause of the harm which constituted the accident, not the harm itself. These requirements ruled out Article 17 recovery in DVT cases where no more can be said than that the cramped seating arrangements in the aircraft were a causative link in the onset of the DVT. Not warning of the risk and not advising passengers of precautions which might be taken to minimize the risk were non-events which could not properly be described as accidents.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Commission proposes new EU plan to halt biodiversity loss

The European Commission adopted a Communication which sets out an ambitious policy approach to halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010. In particular, it provides an EU Action Plan which proposed concrete measures and outlines the responsibilities of EU institutions and Member States, respectively. It also specifies indicators to monitor progress, and a timetable for evaluations. It spells out what needs to be done to halt biodiversity loss in the EU and to meet the international commitments to reduce biodiversity worldwide. It furthermore creates an advisory mechanism to help decision-makers make better use of existing knowledge. (Press release IP/06/667 of 22 May 2006)

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)