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The Erika

26 September 2012

The French Cour de Cassation has upheld the judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal of Paris on 30 March 2010, in relation to the criminal and civil liabilities arising from the sinking of the “Erika” and the ensuing pollution of France’s coastline.

Speaking on French television channel LCI, Xavier McDonald, a partner in HFW’s shipping team, commented that the ruling of the Cour de Cassation is significant, as the Court upheld the jurisdiction of the French Criminal Courts to prosecute MARPOL infringements committed in France’s Exclusive Economic Zone in circumstances where those infringements cause major damage to the coastline. Furthermore, it confirmed that French law which permits “any person exercising a power of control or direction in the management or operation of the ship” to be prosecuted. is not contrary to MARPOL and UNCLOS.

For more information, please contact, Xavier McDonald, Partner, on +33 (0)1 44 94 40 50 or, or your usual HFW contact.