The Role of the International and Regional Conventions in Protecting Kuwait Marine Environment from Ships Oil Pollution
Dr. Talal Aladwani
Assistant Professor of Commercial Law
Kuwait International Law School
This paper is dedicated to some of the most relevant international agreements regarding pollution prevention and safety of life at sea, which indirectly preserve the marine environment. The agreements to be discussed are very diverse but have a common dominant idea: they all focus on the human and technical component of shipping and aim to prevent pollution of the marine environment.
Part of the paper will discuss what these agreements share in that they all provide detailed regulations that require ship owners and operators to abide by them. All international ships circulating in international waters are required to adhere to international standards, which derive from international agreements in order to prevent ship accidents and pollution of the marine environment. For this purpose, international agreements are separated into several types: First, the type that defines a specific standard for construction and maintenance so that ships bear sea danger (i.e. the International Convention for the Protection of Life at Sea). Second, the type related to crew training and competence that reduces human error as much as possible. Third, the type related to the safety management system for ships, ports and shipping companies that ensures early identification of risks through risk assessments and thus work to mitigate them. Fourth, the type of civil liability regimes that impose a shipowner on payment of compensation to victims of pollution, and therefore shipowners, insurance and cargo owners do their best to avoid liability imposed on them. Fifth, the type related to criminal liability and fines for pollution accidents.
Further, this paper will explain the existence of a large, though incomplete, number of agreements, rules and regulations in which the purpose of preventing marine pollution is unclear. It also demonstrates that the purpose of preventing marine pollution through compliance can best be achieved if the rules to be followed are standardized in a single international instrument that can be easily implemented throughout the world.
Another part of this paper will be devoted to explaining the position of related Kuwaiti Law (Environmental and Maritime Law).
It is important to refer in detail to the failure of implementing the agreements incorporated in Kuwaiti law. Recommendations and solutions will be presented at the end of the paper.
Keywords: marine, coastal wates, gulf area, oil shipping routes, reduce pollution.