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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Flying in the Face of Criminalization: The Safety Implications of Prosecuting Aviation Professionals for Accidents

ISBN13: 9781409407676
Published: November 2010
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £95.00

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Two parallel investigations take place after every aviation accident: one technical, one judicial. The former must be conducted with the sole intention of making safety recommendations to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents.

The judicial investigation, however, has the intention of identifying those parties that have been at fault and to apportion blameworthiness for criminal and civil liability. Consequently, this results in a predicament for those parties that have been identified as having played a role in the accident, a dilemma between not supplying information aimed at enhancing safety and preventing future accidents and, on the other hand, supplying such information which may possibly be used against them in subsequent criminal prosecution.

The situation is compounded by inconsistent approaches between different legal systems; aviation professionals may find themselves faced with criminal charges in one country but not in another, and they may also be unsure as to whether statements given during the technical investigation could be used against them in a court of law.

Aviation safety is, to a large extent, built upon the trust placed by pilots, ATCOs and other aviation professionals in the process of accident investigation. This book examines the growing trend to criminalize these same people following an accident investigation and considers the implications this has for aviation safety.

Health and Safety, Air and Space Law
What the black box cannot tell you - liability in law
The greying of the black box - aviation accident investigation
Knowing and doing
The notion of intermingling
The state of play
The effect of criminalization on aviation safety
The way forward
Cases of prosecution of aviation professionals