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Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention

The international legal regime of civil liability for nuclear damage, as laid down in the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is largely mirrored in the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy, which is deposited with the Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention are not Parties to the Vienna Convention and vice versa. The absence of treaty relations between the Contracting Parties to the two Conventions creates problems relating, in particular, to the geographical scope of the regime, inasmuch as damage suffered in the territory of non-Contracting States does not necessarily have to be compensated under both Conventions.

Additional problems relate to the determination of the operator liable and of the State whose courts have jurisdiction in transport cases, since both Conventions differentiate between transport between Contracting Parties, on the one hand, and transport between a Contracting Party and a non-Contracting State, on the other.

The Joint Protocol is designed to establish treaty relations between the Contracting Parties to the Vienna Convention and the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention, and to eliminate conflicts that may arise from the simultaneous application of both Conventions to the same nuclear incident. Accordingly, the Joint Protocol is only open to States that are Parties to the Vienna Convention or to the Paris Convention, both Conventions being defined so as to include any amendment thereto.

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Latest statusDeclarations/Reservations

Date of adoption: 21 September 1988
Place of adoption: Vienna, Austria
Date of entry into force: 27 April 1992
Depositary: Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


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