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Federal Aviation Administration Liability of Air Marshals, Crew, and Passengers who Subdue an Unruly Passenger Michael Jennison Assistant Chief Counsel.

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Aviation Administration Liability of Air Marshals, Crew, and Passengers who Subdue an Unruly Passenger Michael Jennison Assistant Chief Counsel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Aviation Administration Liability of Air Marshals, Crew, and Passengers who Subdue an Unruly Passenger Michael Jennison Assistant Chief Counsel International Law FAA McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability and Insurance 18 April 2015

2 Federal Aviation Administration 2 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015

3 Federal Aviation Administration 3 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015 Overview Tokyo Convention protections US statutory protections Effects of Montreal Protocol

4 Federal Aviation Administration 4 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015 Tokyo Authorities for Air Marshals, Crew, and Passengers Two categories: Air marshals are passengers Authorities are set out in Article 6(2) The aircraft commander may require or authorize the assistance of other crew members and may request or authorize, but not require, the assistance of passengers to restrain any person whom he is entitled to restrain. Any crew member or passenger may also take reasonable preventive measures without such authorization when he has reasonable grounds to believe that such action is immediately necessary to protect the safety of the aircraft, or of persons or property therein

5 Federal Aviation Administration 5 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015 Tokyo Protections Article 10 For actions taken in accordance with this Convention, neither the aircraft commander, any other member of the crew, any passenger, the owner or operator of the aircraft, nor the person on whose behalf the flight was performed shall be held responsible in any proceeding on account of the treatment undergone by the person against whom the actions were taken This is not “immunity” Actions must be necessary and reasonable Doesn’t apply to third parties

6 Federal Aviation Administration 6 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015

7 Federal Aviation Administration 7 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015 US Statutory Protection An individual shall not be liable for damages in any action brought in a Federal or State court arising out of the acts of the individual in attempting to thwart an act of criminal violence or piracy on an aircraft if that individual reasonably believed that such an act of criminal violence or piracy was occurring or was about to occur. 49 U.S.C. § 44903(k) Actions not required to be reasonable. Applies to third parties as well as the unruly passenger No case law There is also the Supreme Court doctrine of qualified immunity for public officials

8 Federal Aviation Administration 8 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April 2015 Effects of Montreal Protocol US delegation was foiled in pursuit of a specified role and protections for air marshals Result was determined by regional power politics, not defined national interests Protocol provides less authority and protection for air marshals than they have as “passengers” under Tokyo Protocol may go into effect (22 parties) but unlikely ever to be widely subscribed

9 Federal Aviation Administration 9 Liability of air marshals, crew, and passengers 18 April


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