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ABSTRACT

This reach work “entitled the liability Regime for Redress and Compensation for victims of aircraft Accidents in Nigeria.” Revealed that aircraft accident is a recurrent decimal world over, and in particular, plane crashes result in a number of casualties, affecting both passengers and other non-passenger victims, hence the problems of who is a victim, when does a passenger embark or disembark an aircraft for the purpose of been compensated within the legal regime. The research work analysed relevant provisions of the convention for the unification of certain Rules, relating to international carriage by Air, known as Montreal Convention 1999, the Civil Aviation Act of Nigeria 2006 and various judicial authorities within and from outside the jurisdiction. The relevancy and the legal efficacy of the report of the Accident investigation report is equally an existing problem affecting the compensation regime. The research work argued for a rationality of compensating victims in the analyses of the relevant provisions dealing with compensation of aircraft accident in Nigeria. The research work reveals that only passenger victims are covered by the law for the purpose of compensation while other categories of victims are not known to law for compensation, particularly under the Montreal Convention 1999 which gave birth to the Civil Aviation Act 2006. Similarly, it also reveals that compensation status of passengers in a private jet and state aircrafts are not statutorily defined as the law completely silent on the liability of private aircrafts owners in Nigeria. The main objective of the research work using doctrinal approach is to appraise and analyse the existing legal frame works on the liability and compensation of passengers and non-passenger victims with the view of providing more pragmatic and flexible legal regime that encompass all categories of victims. Consequently, the research work among others finds that the current legal regime did not sufficiently cover all categories of victims in terms of compensation. It therefore recommends among others that Articles 17, 21, 28, 29, 30 of the Montreal Convention 1999 and section 48, 49 and 39 of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 be amended accordingly. The research work also recommend that the existing legal regimes required legislative overhauling to widen the present scope of the liability regime to cover more classes of victims and explicitly analyse key terms such as the words embarking and disembarking the aircraft and put an end to the constantly conflicting judicial interpretations of such terms. It also finds that the report of the Accident investigation report is rendered worthless by section 29 of the 2006 Act and that the desire of some victims to pursue higher compensation is rendered ineffective.

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