Monday, December 19, 2005

Tsunami Recovery Program

Four international organisations have given the green light to a natural restoration of the coastal areas in Asia. The goal is to rehabilitate the ecosystems in these areas and, as a result, to guarantee the local population income from natural resources and a safe living environment. The project was developed in response to the tsunami that hit the region on 26 December 2004. In places where mangroves, coastal forests and coral reefs were still intact, the effects were less disastrous. Through this project, the organisations want to work with governments and the local population to achieve sound coastal development. For details see

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Assessment of Best practices in Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks in relation to safety of Consumers

The Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection has commissioned Risk & Policy Analysts to undertake an assessment of the best practices for consumer safety in fairgrounds and amusement parks, as during the last 20 years, there has been a constant growth in large amusement parks with ever more extreme rides and it is estimated that there are numerous accidents leading to approx. 19 000 injuries per year most of which involve children (under 15). The Analysts inter alia recommend the establishment of a multi-stakeholder group (involving regulators, industry and consumers) to discuss how measures (particularly relating to staff training and provision of safety information) could be developed and applied across the EU-25 member states. For details see

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Forum Non Conveniens-Doctrine inconsistant with Brussels Convention

Mr Owusu, a British national domiciled in the United Kingdom, suffered a very serious accident during a holiday in Jamaica. He walked into the sea, and when the water was up to his waist he dived in, struck his head against a submerged sand bank and sustained a fracture of his fifth cervical vertebra which rendered him tetraplegic. Following that accident, he brought an action in the United Kingdom for breach of contract against Mr Jackson, who is also domiciled in that State. Mr Jackson had let to Mr Owusu a holiday villa in Mammee Bay (Jamaica). Mr Owusu claims that the contract, which provided that he would have access to a private beach, contained an implied term that the beach would be reasonably safe or free from hidden dangers. Mr Owusu also brought an action in tort in the United Kingdom against several Jamaican companies, which were involved in access to or control and upkeep of the beach. The Court of Appeal (England and Wales) stated that, in this case, the competing jurisdictions were a Contracting State and a non-Contracting State. The question of the application of forum non conveniens in favour of the courts of a non-Contracting State, when one of the defendants is domiciled in a Contracting State, was not a matter on which the Court of Justice had ever given a ruling. ECJ held: Nothing in the wording of Article 2 of the Brussels Convention suggested that the application of the general rule of jurisdiction laid down by that article solely on the basis of the defendant’s domicile in a Contracting State was subject to the condition that there should be a legal relationship involving a number of Contracting States. for the jurisdiction rules of the Brussels Convention to apply at all the existence of an international element is required It must be observed, first, that Article 2 of the Brussels Convention is mandatory in nature and that, according to its terms, there can be no derogation from the principle it lays down except in the cases expressly provided for by the Convention. It is common ground that no exception on the basis of the forum non conveniens doctrine was provided for by the authors of the Convention, although the question was discussed. Respect for the principle of legal certainty, which is one of the objectives of the Brussels Convention would not be fully guaranteed if the court having jurisdiction under the Convention had to be allowed to apply the forum non conveniens doctrine. (ECJ 01.03.2005, C-281/02).

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

No legal Basis for Transfer of Data from Airline Passenger Name Records to US Authorities?

In his opinion of 22 November 2005 (Cases C-317, 318/04) European Advocate General Léger proposed anullment of Commission and Council decisions on transfer to the American authorities of personal information concerning air passengers. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States adopted legislation to require airlines carrying passengers to, from or across United States territory to give the American authorities electronic access to the data contained in their Passenger Name Records. After negotiations with US authorities the Commission adopted a decision (the adequacy decision), holding that the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offered a sufficient level of protection for personal data transferred from the Community whereas the Council adopted a decision approving the conclusion of an agreement between the European Community and the United States on the transfer of data from Passenger Name Records by airlines. Both decisions were challenged by the European Parliament before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In his opinion the Advocate General concluded that the adequacy decision infringed the underlying measure, namely Directive 95/46, and proposed to annul that decision. Concerning the Council’s decision he considerd that Article 95 EC which concerns the adoption of measures for approximating the legal, regulatory and administrative provisions of Member States which have as their object the establishment and functioning of the internal market, did not constitute an appropriate legal basis and proposed that the Court should annul that decision as well. Although Opinions of the Advocate General are not binding, ECJ judgements at a high percentage follow these proposals.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Friday, October 21, 2005

New Consumer's Code

It has been approved the Code of the Consumption, a complex job, by the precious contribution of the Commission of study presided from prof. Guido Alpa and other experts of the matter, with the collaboration of the mainly representative consumer’s associations. With the decree legislative n. 206 of the 6 september 2005 (published in italian Official Gazzette G.U. n. 235 of 8-10-2005 – S.O. n.162) has been reordered and simplified the norm on the protection of the consumers, in coordination with the principles and the addresses of the law n. 229/2003, in accordance of the obligation of semplification ordered by comunitarian law. The purpose of the code is to favor the information and the protection of the consumer, with the assurance of the correctness of the processes negotiation. The code also defines the rights and the interests of the consumers and the customers, the protection system in national and local center and the class action. There are also some dispositions in competition matter, transparency and information in the market and in the quality of the products and the services and about the liability of the producer. Regarding tourism law, it has to point out that from the date of entrance in vigor of the present code the decree legislative 17 march 1995, n. 111 (in accomplishment of the directive 90/314/CEE, concerning the travels, the vacations and the circuits "all comprising") is repealed.

(Originally posted by Gianluca Rossoni)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kaprun-Accident: Sentence of Acquittal confirmed

In November 2000 155 people - mostly tourists who went for skiing - died when a cablecar at the Kaprun Glacier burned down. The fire was caused by a defective radiant heater in one of the carriages. In February 2004 all of the accused (including directors of the cablecar company, the company which produced the cablecar and official experts who were responsible for the operating permit)were found not guilty because a danger of a fire had not been forseeable. Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht Linz) now dismissed the appeal filed by public prosecutor who blamed the judgement for being remote from every day life. However, with the decision of the Court of Appeal the acquittals have now become final.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Airline black list?

Following the recent aircraft crashes EU-Commission is considering to publish a black list of those airlines which lost their flight permission into one of the member states in the internet . According to British newspaper "The Guardian", traffic commissioner Jacques Barrot would prefer to activate the website as early as October 2005, but final decision may take until the end of the year.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Monday, August 22, 2005

EU-Parliament voted against transfer of flight passenger data to Canda

The vote was meant as a protest against the fact that EU-Council and Commission are still refusing to grant the Parliament any right of codetermination in security issues. A similiar data transfer agreement with the U.S. has been challenged by the Parliament before the European Court of Justice.The judgement is expected by the end of the year.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

No tour operator liability for an accident

No tour operator liability for an accident of a two year old boy who slipped through the banisters of the hotel stairs: in a recent decision Austria's Supreme Court confirmed judgements of lower instance courts who both had dismissed a claim for compensation for pain and suffering based on the allegation that the tour operator had not provided sufficient security for children. Supreme court held that an advertisement emphasising favorable family rates would not justify increased expectations in regard to child security. Contractual safeguard obligations must not be overdrawn. Constructional condition of the accomodation basically only had to comply with local standards. Regular inspections of this compliance and necessary adjustments to possibly increased local security standards would exempt tour operator from liability (OGH 07.06.2005, 5 Ob 108/05a).

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Passengers' Rights Survey

A recently published survey carried out by the EU Commission showed that almost four out of ten citizens are not aware that they conclude a conctract with a transport company when purchasing a ticket and a majority doesn't know about the rights and obligations contained in such contract. The most used means of transport, namely local urban transport and inter-city rail transport have a more negative image whereas air transport has a posive image among most Europeans. However, despite the recent reinforcement of air passengers' rights in the EU, only one third of the citizens are aware of these rights (Special Eurobaromater 228 / Wave 63.2).

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Brisbane World's best Airport

IATA has chosen Brisbane Airport as world's best airport and bestowed the "Eagle Award". The airport is expecting 15 million passengers this year.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Visitors Delayed

According to documents recently released, some visitors to the U.S. were delayed by immigration officers because the fingerprints in their passports were mismatched or smudged. However, Homeland Security Department pointed out that only a tiny fraction of visitors was affected by such problems.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Liability for an accident at a water slide

Liability for an accident at a water slide was repudiated by Austria's Supreme Court (OGH): a swimming baths offering a water slide was not obliged to provide permanent supervision by its staff or video cameras. A stoplight system regulating access to the slide and sliding instructions displayed directly at the entrance of the slide were sufficent security measures. Safeguard obligations of a swimming baths must not be overdrawn. The claim for compensation filed by a boy who was hurt at an accident which occured when a group of other boys were blocking the lower part of the water slide was therefore dismissed (OGH 23.11.2004, 10 Ob 26/04b).

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Seaquake alert via text message

A German company has developed a system to forewarn tourists against seaquakes via text message to their cell phones. The system is based on data provided by international seismological institutes.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Machine-readable passport required

From 26. June 2005 all foreign travellers to USA who don't need visa must produce machine-readable passports, otherwise they may be rejected by immigration officers.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

No right of withdrawal from car hire contracts

Interpreting Art. 3(2) of the European Directive 97/7/EC on the protection of consumers in respect of distance contracts, European Court of Justice in a recent preliminary judgement (easyCar UK Ltd v. Office of Fair Trading) held that the exemption made in regard to "provison of transport services" includes contracts for the provision of car hire services. Consumers therefore have no unrestricted right of withdrawal within a specific period after conclusion of contract, even if same was concluded as a "distance contract" via the internet (ECJ 2005-03-10, C-336/03)

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Monday, April 04, 2005

New Travel and Tourism Law Blog

Since last week, is On-line "Lex Turistica" a Travel and Tourism Law Blog built by Portuguese Speaking Professors, from both Portugal and Brazil As far as we know it's the first Travel and Tourism Law Blog ever. All contributions are welcome!

Monday, March 28, 2005

IFTTA Argentina (Regional Organization)

Next April 7th. will take place in Buenos Aires the first meeting to establish IFTTA Argentina, a regional organization. In these meeting it will be elected the Board of Directors and will considerate the IFTTA ARGENTINA BY-LAWS accord the IFTTA BY-LAWS original. After these date we will give you the Members elected and other news.

(Originally posted by Juan Carlos Fairstein)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Lufthansa: New Check-In Machines

By the end of March 2005 Lufthansa will indroduce new check-in machines which will allow to scan passengers' passports. Due to legal obligations the Airline has to collect passengers' passport data for each flight to USA, Canada, Korea or Mexico. Up to now these data have beeen collected manually. The new machines will be a further step towards self-service by passengers.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Remarable Boost in Tourism

Due to figures published by WTO this February, Central American states have achived an remarkable increase of Tourism. Espescially Panama substantially invested in touristic infrastructure and advertisment for its historical sites, beaches and national parks. Thus in 2004 number of tourists increased by about 20%.

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ticket lost - still entitled to carriage?

"No compensation will be granted if tickets were stolen or lost ." Such provision used in the general condiditons of contract of a German coach tour company was held ineffective by Germany's Supreme Court: the provision was inappropriate as it would frustrate purpose of contract when ticket got lost, even though a register of passengers allowed bus driver to verify passgenger's right to carriage.(Press release 17/2005 by BGH/German Supreme Court)

(Originally posted by Michael Wukoschitz)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Increasing The Cases In Which Damages Resulting From Food Poisoning Are Recovered

There is an incresing number of Spanish cases in which restaurants are found liable by the Courts because of serving unsafe food. When a person becomes ill after ingesting contaminated food, he/she can be compensated for the damage. In some cases victims also receive a compensation for mental distress, particularly when foodborne illness occurs in a wedding banquet (e.g SAP Asturias, 14-10-2004, Sección 7ª, AC 20042040; SAP Álava, 14-5-2004, Sección 2ª, JUR 2004279526; SAP Granada, 2-2-2004, Sección 4ª, JUR 2004102397; SAP Burgos, 8-7-2003, Sección 2ª, JUR 200446581; SAP Salamanca, 19-6-2002 Sección Única, JUR 2002193204; SAP Murcia, 4ª 2-11-2001, JUR 200240201; SAP Las Palmas, 9-7-2001, Sección 3ª, JUR 200229831; SAP Burgos, 29-3-2001, Sección 2ª, JUR 2001141464)

(Originally posted by Josep M. Bech Serrat)