Director’s visit to Spain, 21-24 January 2013
The Director, together with the IOPC Funds’ Spanish lawyer, met with the Director General of the Spanish Merchant Marine in Madrid. They discussed the Prestige incident as well as the outstanding issues in connection with the Aegean Sea incident and their possible implications on the winding up of the 1971 Fund.
The Director also met with the Spanish Minister of Justice to consider how limitation proceedings are handled in various jurisdictions and in which court such proceedings should take place. Historically oil spill incidents in Spain have been handled by criminal courts. However, in order to avoid delays in court decisions in future incidents, the Minister of Justice agreed to examine further whether limitation proceedings could be dealt with by a different court. The Minister also provided his views on the outstanding claims in relation to the Aegean Sea incident. A further meeting took place with officers in the Ministry of Finance to discuss the agreement reached between the 1971 Fund and the Spanish Government in respect of the Aegean Sea incident.
The Director also travelled to La Coruña to attend the court hearings in respect of the Prestige incident. He met with the 1992 Fund’s lawyers and experts in La Coruña to discuss the preparation for the court hearings due to last until July 2013.