OPTIONS AND LIMITS OF FUTURE HARMONISATION OF THE NUCLEAR LIABILITY FRAMEWORK IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES/EUROPEAN UNION (Slovak title - below)
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(Title in Slovak - 'Opcie a limity moznej harmonizacie rezimu zodpovednosti za jadrove skody v ramci Europskeho spoločenstva/ Europskej unie'). Currently, the legal framework for nuclear liability derives mainly from two major international treaties: The Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy and the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. Both the Paris Convention and the Vienna Convention are governed by identical basic principles. These principles are strict (objective) liability, congruence between liability and coverage, channelling of liability exclusively onto the operator, very restricted exonerations, non-discrimination of victims, and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of one country. In article author analyzes the legal liability framework in the EU member countries and defines the situation with nuclear liability in the European Union as a 'patchwork'. Before 2004 enlargement, the EU member states, with exception of Austria, Ireland and Luxembourg, were parties to the Paris Convention and most of them also to the Brussels Conventions. During the 2004 and 2008 enlargements, mainly Vienna Convention signatories entered the Union. Since 2005, this EU nuclear liability 'patchwork situation' came into the focus of the European Union. To this date, EU Law does not cover nuclear liability, which remains in the sphere of national legislation and international treaties respectively. In December 2007, the European Commission commissioned a Spanish Law Firm to develop and distribute a questionnaire to explore the views of EU states and of EU industry on the current nuclear liability situation with the view to harmonizing that field of law within the EU and to evaluate their results gained by the questionnaire.
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