Jervis Insurance History Blog: Origins of the Warsaw Convention

7.05.2020
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On 17 August 1923, it was first the French government that proposed the convening of a diplomatic conference  for the purpose of concluding a convention relating to liability in international carriage by air. The conference was formally deferred on two occasions due to reluctant behavior of the governments of various nations to act on such a short notice without the knowledge of the proposed convention. Finally, in the latter part of 1923, the first conference met in Paris to study the draft convention. Since most of the participants were diplomats accredited to the French government and not professionals, it was agreed unanimously that a body of technical, legal experts be set up to study the draft convention prior to its submission to the diplomatic conference for approval. Accordingly, the International Technical Committee of Legal Experts on Air Questions (Comité International Technique d’Experts Juridiques Aériens, CITEJA) was formed in 1925. In 1927–28 CITEJA studied and developed the proposed draft convention and developed it into the present package of unification of law and presented it at the Warsaw Conference, where it was approved between 4 and 12 October 1929. It unified an important sector of private air law.

The Convention was written originally in French and the original documents were deposited in the archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Poland. After coming into force on 13 February 1933, it resolved some conflicts of law and jurisdiction.

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