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Trans-boundary marine oil pollution and its international legal aspects

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Marine pollution control is a sensitive topic, which has gained importance recently due to crude oil spills which in turn has led to many recent international legal developments. This paper examines the effectiveness of international marine laws in imputing liability and calculating damages where more than one nation is affected. The main international agreements covering the international marine laws are International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) succeeding the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil (OILPOL) and the Civil Liability Convention both of which came into force in 1978 and 1975 respectively. This paper examines complications of trans-boundary oil spillage, leading to damages to marine life and its subsequent action a nation needs to take, in response. The damage caused has also to be judged along with the interests of the other affected nations. The author concludes by proposing a model wherein a tribunal has be constituted under the IMO, which has the appropriate jurisdiction to take up the matter and award appropriate punishments and financial implications to the defaulting party.

Keywords: marine pollution, OILPOL, MARPOL, international conventions, pollution prevention, seas, oceans, ships, shipping, trans-boundary pollution, international law, legal aspects, pollution control, crude oil, oil spillages, oil spills, marine laws, damages calculation, national boundaries, international agreements, marine life, affected nations, tribunals, IMO, International Maritime Organization, jurisdictions, punishment, financial implications, defaulting parties, civil liability, scientific enquiry

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