On 30 April 2014, the Resident Representative of France to the IAEA, Ambassador Marion Paradas, deposited France's instrument of approval of the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention with the IAEA Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, Peri Lynne Johnson, at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
On accepting the instrument, Ms. Johnson commended France on becoming a Contracting Party to the Joint Protocol. She acknowledged the support of France in the Agency's efforts to encourage Member States to adhere to these important Conventions.
Ambassador Paradas, in her comments, expressed the significance of joining the Joint Protocol as an avenue to creating the global nuclear liability regime.
With this latest deposit, France becomes the 28th Contracting Party to the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention. The Protocol will enter into force for France on 30 July 2014.
The Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention was put forward to eliminate conflicts that may arise from the simultaneous application of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability. The Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention govern issues related to liability and compensation for damage due to nuclear accidents.
The Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention largely mirror one another; however, Contracting Parties to the Vienna Convention are not Parties to the Paris Convention and vice versa. The absence of treaty relations between the Contracting Parties can create a number of problems related to the geographical scope of the regime, the determination of liability, and jurisdiction of legal cases.
Accordingly, the Joint Protocol establishes treaty relations between Contracting Parties to the Conventions. It is only open to Contracting Parties to the Vienna Convention or the Paris Convention.