Chicago Convention as a Framework Convention in International Aviation Law

In the general discourses in International Aviation Law, the Chicago Convention, 1944 is considered as a “Framework Convention.” Why it is considered so? What are the advantages of a Framework Convention? Why a Framework Convention is more appropriate for regulating civil aviation? Support your answer with arguments drawn on public international law relating to FCs (15 Marks)  

Aviation is among industries that are uniquely controlled. The aviation sector gets managed via international, bilateral, and transnational institutions and agreements. Despite all these agreements worldwide, the aviation industry has a seminal understanding known as the Chicago Convention of 1944. This convention is considered as a framework convention because it is an agreement describing a form of legally attaching treaty that develops broader commitments for its stakeholders and leaves the environment of certain goals either to subsequent comprehensive agreements commonly known as protocols or countrywide legislation. Fundamentally, the idea of framework agreement operates as an umbrella credential that outlines the objectives, rules, and principles of regulating the treaty authority. The design of a framework convention mirrors the involved parties’ policy to create general mandates, develop primary institutional assortments, and issue procedures to facilitate the adoption of comprehensive obligations in subsidiary protocols (Bartsch, 2012, 56). Typically, the convention’s nature is to create room for more stringent regulations and ensure the implementation of the approaches existing in national legislation.

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Furthermore, the Chicago convention is referred to as the framework convention since it is a legally binding agreement of international code that has no variations in its legal impact from other agreements. While a frame convention lacks substantial targets, it is not very different from a protocol, free from time-based targets and concrete obligations. Both the protocol and the framework convention are legally adhering because they go through ratifications in national parliaments, which are primary requirements for adopting implementable legislation. Another reason is that a framework convention serves in different areas as long as they abide by the national legislation or the required number of parties. A framework convention mostly applies to international environmental law and within the boundaries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) environment conventions. This indicates that the convention’s framework is no confined to this section of international law. It cuts across all the suitable frameworks of operation.

The advantages of framework convention include elevating the political will for practical and creating space for consensus on the necessary information detailing the action that must be implemented for future stages. Framework Convention is useful in building a coherent agreement regime centered on general overarching treaties. As such, the benefit of framework convention is that it can lead to the accomplishment of a consensus by all the parties because they can provide a platform to agree on primary and general principles which have the potential to guide, if the stakeholders wish so, the preferable further negotiation of comprehensive and objective protocols to the treaty. The issues impacting the aviation industry often get handled via the establishment of national strategies and policies.

Furthermore, the flexibility of framework conventions helps governments discern approaches that they can use to achieve the planned goals and objectives in the aviation sector based on their nation’s potential. Before forming the convention framework, the aviation industry across Europe desired so much to build a rhythmic structure to support global air travel. This desire later came actualization under Paul Fauchille, the French lawyer who majored in the aviation sector. Consequentially, he recommended the development of international air navigation principles and standards in 1900. This happened several years before the aviation industry began commercializing its activities. As a result, in 1903, under the French authority’s support, Fauchille tried to form a treaty that would manage the airspace sovereignty and never succeeded. Based on these efforts, the framework was developed to regulate the airspace under common international law (Bartsch, 2012, 23).

At that, the U.S. was going through a series of challenges in handling its space. When the news of the French government’s attempts to establish a framework that would regulate the international airspace, it invited several parties to Chicago to develop a new order to regulate the aviation sector. Therefore, the framework convention started as a new order to ensure easier management of the commercialized airspace. Another advantage of the framework convention is that it helped mitigate the challenges that were affecting the U.S. due to multilateralism. The convention engineered for new hope that premised on providing free-market principles and imperative liberalization. The United States of America was sure that such a move would probably favor its already dominated aerospace sector.

Additionally, the framework convention led to the creation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO is an UN-based agency mandated to regulate and coordinate global air travel. Therefore, the conventional framework is beneficial since it establishes rules of aircraft registration, safety and airspace regulations, and details all signatories’ rights associated with air travel. It is the role of the framework convention to exclude air fuels from subjection to tax. The sovereignty of airspace enjoyed in the modern air travel industry framework convention was its pioneer. The convention ensured respect for every state’s territory that got accompanied by five freedoms that later got increased to nine unofficial freedoms (Gardiner, 1998, 300). These freedoms control countries’ sovereignty in the world to operate air transport sectors such as carriage of cargo, passengers and mail across, within, and into other nations’ airspace. The framework convention works in line with the scope of SARPs, which helps the agency in regulating civil aviation activities in line with ICAO’s concept of leadership. A framework convention is more precise for regulating civil aviation because it carries crucial alterations that operate in unison with the rules that are legally binding to the international carriage by air acknowledged in Warsaw statute 0f 1929. According to the Warsaw Convention, a protocol that gets adopted through the diplomatic conference and organized via the global civil aviation organization’s auspices is necessary to regulate and manage civil aviation and the airspace. The framework convention serves following the Warsaw convention when addressing liability occurring through the international air carriers to the cargo owners and passengers traveling by air. The framework convention develops the presumptive principle liability that enables it to minimize the amount of compensation resulting from the carrier unless the liability takes place based on willful negligence and misconduct. Moreover, the framework convention is appropriate for regulating civil aviation as it has a protocol coexistence, and it is the original convention. This framework works differently from the way Warsaw operates. While the Warsaw convention brings some difficulties based on the Hague protocol’s coexistence, the framework convention applies a different approach. The framework convention encourages simple terms that such goods in the place of cargo, which makes it simple for many people to comprehend its principles and regulations (Mankiewicz, 1956, 78). A Framework Convention is more appropriate for regulating civil aviation because it is authentic text is composed in English, Spanish, and French. This was a consensus agreement to use the three languages to enable a broader understanding. Furthermore, translation of the original framework convention was to eradicate contradictions and difficulties in interpreting the international law that had gotten rampant among many parties in the industry. As such, the framework convention is appropriate for use in regulating civil aviation.

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