ROME CONVENTION act

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Provisions of Rome Convention to have force of law.

3. Power of Minister to make Orders.

4. Provisions of the Convention to prevail over other law.

SCHEDULE

17 of 1955.

AN ACT to give effect to the Rome Convention dated 7th October, 1952, on damage caused by foreign aircraft to third parties on the surface.

[Date of Commencement: 14th April, 1955]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Rome Convention Act.

2. Provisions of Rome Convention to have force of law.

On and after such date1 as the Governor-General may, by Proclamation published in the Gazette, declare to be the date on which the Rome Convention dated 7th October, 1952, hereinafter referred to as "the Convention”, comes into force as regards Ceylon, the provisions of the Convention, which are set out in the Schedule to this Act, shall have the effect of law in Ceylon or Sri Lanka, as the case may be.

3. Power of Minister to make Orders.

(1) The Minister may by Order published in the Gazette

(a) certify—

(i) that any such State as may be specified in the Order is a Contracting State under the Convention in respect of any such territory as may be so specified;

(ii) that any such person as may be specified, by name or by office, in the Order is an appropriate authority for the purposes of any such provision of the Convention as may be so specified;

(iii) that any such insurer as may be specified in the Order has been authorised by the Government to effect insurance for the purposes of Article 15 of the Convention and that his financial responsibility has been verified by the Government;

(iv) that any such bank as may be specified in the Order has been authorised by the Government to act as a depository for the purposes of the said Article 15; and

(v) that any such bank as may be specified in the Order has been authorised by the Government to give a guarantee for the purposes of the said Article 15 and that its financial responsibility has been verified by the Government;

(b) require that any aircraft in flight over Sri Lanka to which the Convention applies and which is registered in any Contracting State other than Sri Lanka shall, subject to paragraph 6 of the said Article 15, carry such insurer's certificate and such appropriate authority's certificate or endorsement as are referred to in paragraph 5 of the said Article 15; and

(c) make such other provision as may be necessary to give full force and effect to the Convention.

(2) Every Order made under this section and in force shall have the effect of law.

4. Provisions of the Convention to prevail over other law.

In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of the Convention and the provisions of any other law, the provisions of the Convention shall prevail over the provisions of such other law.

SCHEDULE

[Section 2]

ROME CONVENTION DATED 7TH OCTOBER. 1952, ON DAMAGE CAUSED BY FOREIGN AIRCRAFT TO THIRD PARTIES ON THE SURFACE

CHAPTER I

PRINCIPLES OF LIABILITY

Article 1

1. Any person who suffers damage on the surface shall, upon proof only that the damage was caused by an aircraft in flight or by any person or thing falling therefrom, be entitled to compensation as provided by this Convention. Nevertheless there shall be no right to compensation if the damage is not a direct consequence of the incident giving rise thereto, or if the damage results from the mere fact of passage of the aircraft through the airspace in conformity with existing air traffic regulations.

2. For the purpose of this Convention, an aircraft is considered to be in flight from the moment when power is applied for the purpose of actual take-off until the moment when the landing run ends. In the case of an aircraft lighter than air the expression "in flight” relates to the period from the moment when it becomes detached from the surface until it becomes again attached thereto.

Article 2

1. The liability for compensation contemplated by Article I of this Convention shall attach to the operator of the aircraft.

2. —

(a) For the purposes of this Convention the term "operator” shall mean the person who was making use of the aircraft at the time the damage was caused, provided that if control of the navigation of the aircraft was retained by the person from whom the right to make use of the aircraft was derived, whether directly or indirectly, that person shall be considered the operator.

(b) A person shall be considered to be making use of an aircraft when he is using it personally or when his servants or agents are using the aircraft in the course of their employment, whether or not within the scope of their authority.

3. The registered owner of the aircraft shall be presumed to be the operator and shall be liable as such unless, in the proceedings for the determination of his liability, he proves that some other person was the operator and in so far as legal procedures permit, takes appropriate measures to make that other person a party in the proceedings.

Article 3

If the person who was the operator at the time the damage was caused had not the exclusive right to use the aircraft for a period of more than fourteen days, dating from the moment when the right to use commenced, the person from whom such right was derived shall be liable Jointly and severally with the operator, each of them being bound under the provisions and within the limit of liability of this Convention.

Article 4

If a person makes use of an aircraft without the consent of the person entitled to its navigational control, the latter, unless he proves that he has exercised due care to prevent such use. shall be jointly and severally liable with the unlawful user for damage giving a right to compensation under Article 1, each of them being bound under the provisions and within the limits of liability of this Convention.

Article 5

Any person who would otherwise be liable under the provisions of this Convention shall not be liable if the damage is the direct consequence of armed conflict or civil disturbance or if such person has been deprived of the use of the aircraft by act of public authority.

Article 6

1. Any person who would otherwise be liable under the provisions of this Convention shall not be liable for damage if he proves that the damage was caused solely through the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the person who suffers the damage or of the latter's servants or agents. If the person liable proves that the damage was contributed to by the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the person who suffers the damage or of his servants or agents, the compensation shall be reduced to the extent to which such negligence or wrongful act or omission contributed to the damage. Nevertheless there shall be no such exoneration or reduction if, in the case of the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a servant or agent, the person who suffers the damage proves that his servant or agent was acting outside the scope of his authority.

2. When an action is brought by one person to recover damages arising from the death or injury of another person, the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of such other person or of his servants or agents, shall also have the effect provided m the preceding paragraph.

Article 7

When two or more aircraft have collided or interfered with each other in flight and damage for which a right to compensation as contemplated in Article I results or when two or more aircraft have jointly caused such damage, each of the aircraft concerned shall be considered to have caused the damage and the operator of each aircraft shall be liable, each of them being bound under the provisions and within the limits of liability of this Convention.

Article 8

The persons referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 2 and in Article 3 and 4 shall be entitled to all defenses which are available to an operator under the provisions of this Convention.

Article 9

Neither the operator the owner, any person liable under Article 3 or Article 4, not their respective servants or agents, shall be liable for damage on the surface caused by an aircraft in flight or any person or thing falling therefrom otherwise than as expressly provided in this Convention. This rule shall not apply to any such person who is guilty of a deliberate act or omission done with intent to cause damage.

Article 10

Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice the question whether a person liable for damage in accordance with its provisions has a right of recourse against any other person.

CHAPTER II

EXTENT OF LIABILITY

Article 11

1. Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the liability for damage giving a right to compensation under Article 1, for each aircraft and incident, in respect of alt persons liable under this Convention, shall not exceed—

(a) 500,000 francs for aircraft weighing 1,000 kilogrammes or less;

(b) 500,000 francs plus 400 francs per kilogramme over 1,000 kilogrammes for aircraft weighing more than 1,000 but not exceeding 6,000 kilogramme;

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