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The Importance of Solving Legal Problems Regarding Wrecks - Risks Posed by Dangerous Wrecks in Swedish Waters

Kepplerus, Katarina LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract
This thesis discusses legal problems in relation to shipwrecks, with focus on dangerous and abandoned wrecks, and takes a de lege ferenda perspective on regulations regarding wreck liability, responsibility for wreck removal and prevention of pollution on the marine environment.

Abandoned wrecks may obstruct navigation and pose hazard to the marine environment. Moreover, wrecks create a wide range of problems, for lawyers, coastal States and societies, authorities, seafarers and insurers alike. The number of wrecks in Swedish waters is unknown but is currently being inventoried by the Swedish Maritime Administration. Nonetheless, and taking into account that the number of abandoned, and possibly dangerous wrecks, in Swedish waters is... (More)
This thesis discusses legal problems in relation to shipwrecks, with focus on dangerous and abandoned wrecks, and takes a de lege ferenda perspective on regulations regarding wreck liability, responsibility for wreck removal and prevention of pollution on the marine environment.

Abandoned wrecks may obstruct navigation and pose hazard to the marine environment. Moreover, wrecks create a wide range of problems, for lawyers, coastal States and societies, authorities, seafarers and insurers alike. The number of wrecks in Swedish waters is unknown but is currently being inventoried by the Swedish Maritime Administration. Nonetheless, and taking into account that the number of abandoned, and possibly dangerous wrecks, in Swedish waters is likely considerable, there is no comprehensible set of laws regulating problems stemming from and liability for wrecks. The past few years, attentiveness has been drawn in Sweden to the lack of regu-lations on wrecks. Wreck-related issues are also subject to recent interna-tional attention. A Wreck Removal Convention has been adopted, and will fill a gap in the existing international framework by providing uniform rules on effective wreck removal beyond the territorial sea. However, the Con-vention has not entered into force. International instruments regulating issues related to wrecks do exist, providing rules intended to prevent marine casualties and pollution. Moreover, these instruments provide obligations for States to take responsibility for such prevention.

In Sweden, liability for wrecks is primarily connected to wreck ownership. The owner is usually covered by liability insurance; therefore, the insurer, typically a P&I-club, plays an important role when wrecks cause damage. The Swedish authorities have some possibilities to intervene and take measures re¬garding dangerous wrecks.

The hazard wrecks may pose to the marine environment depends on a num-ber of factors included in the characteristics of the wreck itself and of the cargo together with the conditions at the location of the wreck. Moreover, the measures that can or must be taken in regard to wrecks depend on these same factors together with others, such as economical/financial, political, and last but not least legal factors.

The international and national law covering wrecks is incomprehensive. The dominant feature of this field of law is the lack of regulation. Legislation concerning wrecks is best done nationally due to the fact that the most damage is done by wrecks in national waters. Nonetheless, international harmonization on wreck-related issues would be beneficial. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I uppsatsen belyses rättsfrågor gällande skeppsvrak med fokus på övergivna och farliga vrak. Uppsatsen antar ett de lege ferenda perspektiv på lagstiftning angående juridiskt ansvar för vrak, ansvar för bortskaffande av vrak samt förebyggande av marin miljöförstöring.

Övergivna vrak kan försvåra navigering och utgöra miljöfara, och övergivna vrak kan utgöra stora problem för en mängd olika aktörer. Hur många skeppsvrak som finns i svenska vatten är det ingen som vet, men Sjöfartsverket leder för närvarande en inventering av antalet skeppsvrak i de svenska vattnen. Det finns ingen heltäckande lagreglering gällande de juridiska problem som vrak medför trots det faktum att det med största sannolikhet finns ett stort antal övergivna och... (More)
I uppsatsen belyses rättsfrågor gällande skeppsvrak med fokus på övergivna och farliga vrak. Uppsatsen antar ett de lege ferenda perspektiv på lagstiftning angående juridiskt ansvar för vrak, ansvar för bortskaffande av vrak samt förebyggande av marin miljöförstöring.

Övergivna vrak kan försvåra navigering och utgöra miljöfara, och övergivna vrak kan utgöra stora problem för en mängd olika aktörer. Hur många skeppsvrak som finns i svenska vatten är det ingen som vet, men Sjöfartsverket leder för närvarande en inventering av antalet skeppsvrak i de svenska vattnen. Det finns ingen heltäckande lagreglering gällande de juridiska problem som vrak medför trots det faktum att det med största sannolikhet finns ett stort antal övergivna och förmodligen farliga vrak i de svenska vattnen. Bristen på funktionella lagregler har uppmärksammats i Sverige de senaste åren. Frågor gällande vrak har även uppmärksammats internationellt vilket har lett till antagandet av Vrakkonventionen. Dessvärre har konventionen ännu inte trätt i kraft. För det fall att konvention träder i kraft kommer den att fylla ett tomrum i det nuvarande internationella regelverket genom enhetliga regler för effektiv bortskaffning av vrak bortom territorialhavet. Andra internationella instrument som reglerar vrakrelaterade frågor finns dock att tillgå. Dessa instrument medför skyldigheter för stater att ta ansvar och att förhindra och förebygga förorening av den marina miljön samt olyckor till sjöss.

I Sverige är det juridiska ansvaret för vrak främst kopplat till vrakets ägare. Denne ägare är vanligtvis täckt av en ansvarsförsäkring, vilket medför att försäkringsgivaren, oftast en P&I-club, har en central roll vid de tvister som uppkommer när vrak orsakar skada. Visst ansvar faller även på svenska myndigheter som har vissa möjligheter att ingripa samt vidta åtgärder angående farliga vrak.

Vilken fara ett vrak utgör för den marina miljön beror på ett antal olika faktorer, där såväl vrakets egenskaper och last som förhållanden vid vrakets placering påverkar. De åtgärder som kan, eller måste, vidtas gällande vrak beror dels på dessa faktorer och dels på ekonomiska/finansiella, politiska och inte minst legala faktorer.

Varken internationella eller nationella lagar och regler om de juridiska problem vrak medför är heltäckande. Detta rättsområde domineras av bristande lagstiftning. Lagstiftning om vrak sker lämpligast nationellt eftersom vrak i nationella vatten orsakar mest skada. Men med detta inte sagt att internationell harmonisering inte vore önskvärt. (Less)
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author
Kepplerus, Katarina LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Folkrätt, Transporträtt, Sjörätt
language
English
id
1628240
date added to LUP
2011-06-09 13:25:48
date last changed
2011-06-09 13:25:48
@misc{1628240,
  abstract     = {This thesis discusses legal problems in relation to shipwrecks, with focus on dangerous and abandoned wrecks, and takes a de lege ferenda perspective on regulations regarding wreck liability, responsibility for wreck removal and prevention of pollution on the marine environment.

Abandoned wrecks may obstruct navigation and pose hazard to the marine environment. Moreover, wrecks create a wide range of problems, for lawyers, coastal States and societies, authorities, seafarers and insurers alike. The number of wrecks in Swedish waters is unknown but is currently being inventoried by the Swedish Maritime Administration. Nonetheless, and taking into account that the number of abandoned, and possibly dangerous wrecks, in Swedish waters is likely considerable, there is no comprehensible set of laws regulating problems stemming from and liability for wrecks. The past few years, attentiveness has been drawn in Sweden to the lack of regu-lations on wrecks. Wreck-related issues are also subject to recent interna-tional attention. A Wreck Removal Convention has been adopted, and will fill a gap in the existing international framework by providing uniform rules on effective wreck removal beyond the territorial sea. However, the Con-vention has not entered into force. International instruments regulating issues related to wrecks do exist, providing rules intended to prevent marine casualties and pollution. Moreover, these instruments provide obligations for States to take responsibility for such prevention. 

In Sweden, liability for wrecks is primarily connected to wreck ownership. The owner is usually covered by liability insurance; therefore, the insurer, typically a P&I-club, plays an important role when wrecks cause damage. The Swedish authorities have some possibilities to intervene and take measures re¬garding dangerous wrecks.

The hazard wrecks may pose to the marine environment depends on a num-ber of factors included in the characteristics of the wreck itself and of the cargo together with the conditions at the location of the wreck. Moreover, the measures that can or must be taken in regard to wrecks depend on these same factors together with others, such as economical/financial, political, and last but not least legal factors.

The international and national law covering wrecks is incomprehensive. The dominant feature of this field of law is the lack of regulation. Legislation concerning wrecks is best done nationally due to the fact that the most damage is done by wrecks in national waters. Nonetheless, international harmonization on wreck-related issues would be beneficial.},
  author       = {Kepplerus, Katarina},
  keyword      = {Folkrätt,Transporträtt,Sjörätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Importance of Solving Legal Problems Regarding Wrecks - Risks Posed by Dangerous Wrecks in Swedish Waters},
  year         = {2010},
}