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Cour de Cassation (France) Commune de Mesquer v Total France, SA, Total International Ltd

DATE: 24 Jun 2008

This case involved the sinking of the m.v. Erika off the coast of France which led to her cargo, namely several million tonnes of heavy fuel oil, being spilled into the sea. This led to the pollution of the French Atlantic coastline (click here for more information). It was France's worst ever oil disaster. The questions referred relate to

1. the meaning of waste under the Waste Framework Directive;

2. the relationship of the Waste Framework Directive with (i) the International Convention of 27 November 1992 on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the International Convention of 27 November 1992 on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage; and (ii) the Environmental Liability Directive.

Instructed by the Treasury Solicitor's Department for the UK.