{{{{ MontrealConvention.Org }}}} - The No.1 Air Passenger Resource Website

Suffered delay/lost/damaged baggage/luggage or personal injury by an airline? seeking compensation? Want to know the liability for death or injury to passengers, Delay of Passenger/Delayed Flight, Damage to Passenger/Bodily Injury, Damage Occasioned by Delay of Passenger, Delay of Baggage, Damage to Baggage, Lost Baggage, Damage Occasioned by Delay of Baggage?

International air transport of passengers, baggage and cargo is governed by the Montreal Convention. If you intend to travel or send/receive goods by air, to or from another country, then it is in your best interests to be aware of certain information.
Interpretation of the Montreal Convention is, in general, done on the basis of case law and mostly based on the case law of those courts that have English as their main language. Unlike the Warsaw Convention, the Montreal Convention is officially in six languages (Chinese, English, Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish).  All are of equal standing, there is no prevailing language.  Therefore, Judges in these six countires are free to make their decisions based on their own interpreteation of the text of the Montreal Convention in their own language.  The majority of litigation is carried out in small local courts around the world and for sums that are not so great as to warrant the cost of the passenger hiring professional representation as the cost of such representation may outwiegh the amount of the claim, especially in small claims courts where costs are usually irrecoverable.  Such small claims also do not attract the interest of professional representation.  Many judges in these small courts, although highly competent, have unfortunately never had to deal with the issue of the Montreal Convention themselves.  In some instances, judges have been forced to accept earlier English jurisprudence, especially the old case law that is favourable to the air carrier, some of which were obtained in the country where the air carrier concerned was the National Flagcarrier.  If you have to file your case in court, it is worth bringing this to the attention of the Judge in your case.  If there is no relevant case law available in your language and country then the Judge is quite within his rights to ignore the case law in the English language and make new case law in your country with his decision in the case.  This then builds up relevant case law in each of the six official languages of the Montreal Convention making interpretation of the Convention much easier for the Judges.


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